Although raising a wuss means you can force them to wear stupid costumes and dance for you.
In their study of 157 13-year-olds over a period of two years, they discovered that teens who learned how to stand up for themselves and intelligently argue their point could later use those skills in other situations. Specifically, against the boogeyman of all parents everywhere: peer pressure.
It turns out that persuasiveness is a pretty useful thing in a school environment, especially when it comes to declining a hit of heroin to the eyeball during recess. In the study, kids who mastered the art of arguing by first practicing it on their folks were then 40 percent more likely to say no to all sorts of vices, while those who were constantly shushed by their parents responded to most bad influences with a submissive "Yeah, sure, whatever ..."
"OK, since it's your roulette gun, I'll take the first three turns."
The thing is, the world is full of tough-guy fathers who insist that their sons learn how to fight, knowing that someday they may need to stand up to a bully. Maybe Dad will even strap on boxing gloves and take the kid into the basement to teach him how to punch. But when's the last time you've heard of parents doing the same with verbal sparring? You know, teaching their kids how to win verbal arguments for the same reason -- that they're sure to need it on the playground. Hell, we bet verbal arguments were a hell of a lot more common in your formative years than fistfights. So why don't we practice them?