How can I help my child to succeed in debate? 

One way is to encourage great sportsmanship. Also, you can talk to your child about the different issues in the news. Discuss these subjects informally and allow your child to voice his/her opinion. Offer your own viewpoint and point out where your child’s reasoning seems weak. If you observe your child in round, then please be a passive participant. As much as you want to applaud or send a hand signal or such, this is not appropriate. You may sit and observe but reserve comments or ―coaching‖ for after the round. Be POSITIVE with your child about his/her performance. These students are engaged in public speaking and they should be commended for their efforts. (I suggest cutting this because it perhaps stresses the competitive aspect too much.)