Academic English

“Raising Successful Children”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult children man – woman 07:13

Pre-Listening Exercise

What are the greatest challenges in raising children in the world we live in today? What types of conflict occur within families (between siblings, and between children and parents)? What are three things parents and children can do to improve family relationships?


“drive someone nuts/crazy” = make someone feel angry
My kids sometimes drive me nuts when they leave the house a mess.”

“leave the nest” = leave your parents home and start living independently
Many kids aren’t financially ready to leave the nest when they turn 18 years old.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Monroe is writing the book because ______.

Monroe says that "the challenges of raising children are often so complex that not one guidebook can fully prepare you for what awaits you on the front lines."

Successful children are ones who ____.

Philip: Well, I'm referring to success in understanding and managing children's own emotional, moral, and even spiritual welfare. For example, people, umm . . . people get angry and depressed, and that's a part of life, and just telling kids not to be upset or frustrated denies the naturalness of these feelings, and it doesn't teach children how to cope with their feelings.

____ have the greatest influence on a child's behavior and ideas.

In other words, while parents perhaps have the most impact on our children's decisions and attitudes, we can't ignore the fact that children . . . uh, particularly teenagers . . . tend to follow the popular crowd.

Family rules can ______.

I mean, children often see rules as a way to limit their freedom when in fact we're just trying to protect them from often negative consequences of their actions. But when children feel that they're being treated fairly, and we validate their feelings, they'll respond . . . . at least we hope they will respond . . . better to our requests, and in return, they can earn greater latitude (or FREEDOM) in what they are allowed to do, and they no longer see rules and barriers as things that stop them.

We should never give up on our children even if they ____.

All I can say is that we can never give up on our children, even when they yell and scream in our faces. It's hard, but we just can't take it personally. And if there's one last thing I could say would be to have hope that things will work out.

Post-Listening Exercise

Discuss what it was like to grow up in your family in terms of how your parents raised you? What kinds of rules did your family? Did you think they were fair at the time? Has your opinion on these rules changed as you have gotten older? Do you think that children are harder or easier to raise in today’s world as compared to life when your parents or grandparents were growing up? Explain.