Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: "Thank You for Arguing" by Jay Heinrichs

Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of PersuasionThank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is perhaps the most interesting child-rearing book I've ever read. Why? Because you learn how to teach your children to debate with you.

The title, "Thank You for Arguing", is slightly misleading, because the author, Jay Heinrichs, is attempting to dissuade people from the common reaction of blind arguing. Instead, Heinrichs wants people to learn how to debate again, how to listen to each other's statements and respond accordingly.

Personally, I learned a lot about debate, and how to present your point. I found myself slightly surprised at the multitude of situations in which Heinrichs' advice works, from dealings with my kids' schools to business meetings to family events. Everywhere you can converse with someone else, you can use this book.

I even taught my children how to use some of the debating methods. I wondered if they really listened, when my daughter asked for dessert one night. I almost said, "no" when she stated (in a calm voice), "Mom, I ate all of my fruit and vegetables at dinner. I eat nutritiously every day, so a dessert every once in a while will not adversely affect my diet." I agreed, and she got dessert.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words on my book, Kathryn. You might be interested in my next book, Word Hero,which is being published next week. And I'm writing up a proposal on how to raise children rhetorically. Reviews like yours make me write faster.

    Jay Heinrichs


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