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“Ideal Parenting”



Pre-Listening Question

1. Visual Activity: Objective: Engage students with visual representations related to parenting qualities discussed in the interview.


    • Provide students with a set of images representing various aspects of parenting, such as nurturing, communication, setting boundaries, emotional support, etc.
    • Ask students to observe the images and make predictions about the qualities of an ideal parent based on what they see.
    • After a brief discussion, introduce the interview excerpt and instruct students to listen carefully for any mentioned parenting qualities that align with or differ from their initial predictions.

2. Verbal Activity: Objective: Enhance vocabulary and language skills through discussion of parenting qualities and responsibilities.


    • Divide the class into pairs or small groups and provide each group with a list of key vocabulary words related to parenting (e.g., nurture, validate, boundaries, support, judgment-free).
    • Instruct students to discuss the meanings of each word and brainstorm examples of how these concepts apply to parenting.
    • Encourage students to use the vocabulary words in sentences or short paragraphs describing their own experiences or observations of parental behavior.
    • Facilitate a whole-class discussion to share insights and reflections on the importance of these qualities in ideal parenting, drawing connections to the interview excerpt.
    1. Nurture
    2. Validate
    3. Boundaries
    4. Support
    5. Empathy
    6. Communication
    7. Respect
    8. Trust
    9. Consistency
    10. Encouragement
    11. Understanding
    12. Patience
    13. Compassion
    14. Responsiveness
    15. Guidance
    16. Role-modeling
    17. Empowerment
    18. Flexibility
    19. Affection
    20. Discipline

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

nurture (verb): to care for and encourage the growth or development of something or someone

  • Parents nurture their children by providing love, support, and guidance.
  • Teachers nurture their students’ talents and interests through encouragement and positive reinforcement.

validation (noun): the act of recognizing, confirming, or acknowledging the validity or worth of something or someone

  • It’s important for parents to offer validation to their children’s feelings and experiences.
  • A simple “thank you” can provide meaningful validation for someone’s efforts.

boundaries (noun): limits or guidelines that define acceptable behavior, actions, or interactions in a relationship or social context

  • Establishing clear boundaries helps maintain healthy relationships with family and friends.
  • Learning to respect personal boundaries is an essential aspect of social development.

empathy (noun): the ability to understand and share the feelings, emotions, or perspectives of others

  • Showing empathy towards others can strengthen interpersonal connections and foster compassion.
  • Practicing empathy allows individuals to offer meaningful support and comfort to those in need.

guidance (noun): advice, direction, or support provided to help someone navigate a situation, make decisions, or achieve a goal

  • Parents play a crucial role in providing guidance to their children as they navigate life’s challenges and opportunities.
  • Teachers offer guidance to students to help them succeed academically and personally.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, we want to talk about the qualities of the ideal parent. And I know as a parent, when you’re starting to have children, you’re reading 1,022 books on this subject, and many times you get things right, and a lot of times you get things wrong and you try to learn from your experiences. So Aubrey, even reflecting on your growing up and maybe some of the things that I got right and some of the things, dad, you got wrong, but maybe I’m slowly learning what would be those qualities to any situation that we should keep in mind about being an ideal parent.

Aubrey: Well, I think you would be the ideal parent if you paid off my car.

Randall: Okay. All right. I like that one. Not really but.

Aubrey: All that aside.

Randall: So, uh, What are some other things besides paying off your car?

Aubrey: Um, you know, taking care of your children’s, like, physical and emotional needs. I guess this is something. This is a subject that might be better addressed by other people. Because I don’t have experience except as being a child. Right? I don’t intend to have kids. I don’t feel like I’m qualified to be a parent, so that might be another. You know, thing for an ideal parent is make sure you’re ready to be a parent.

Randall: Good point.

Aubrey: Because you’ve got another life and they’re depending on you.

Randall: I think a lot of times, and thank you for sharing. A lot of times people are thinking specifically about physical needs like, you know, shelter and clothing and so forth. But you also mentioned the importance of emotional needs, of being emotionally available to your children and so forth. So what would be some of those things that really could help with children’s emotional needs?

Aubrey: Okay. And again, I’m going to preface this by saying I’m not a parent, but you know, being there, being available, being a safe space for your child. Right. So they don’t have to worry about what you’re going . . . You know if they’re going through something.

Randall: Right.

Aubrey: Right? And they don’t need to worry about being judged. Like maybe they made a really big mistake, but you haven’t been emotionally available for them . . . to them, so they’re not going to come talk to you. Um, maybe they’ll come to their cool aunt, which is me. Um, but yeah, so just being a safe space, having your kids know how to set boundaries is really good because you don’t want people, you know, walking all over them, and you don’t want them to be, like, all over someone else.

Randall: You’re going through a period of time, including myself, when you know children are struggling, you don’t know how to appropriately validate

Aubrey: Yeah

Randall: that struggle. I mean, yeah, life sucks. Life’s hard, but you just can’t simply say things will get better because they may or may not.

Aubrey: They might not yeah.

Randall: Yeah. Well, thank you very much for sharing those thoughts. Very helpful indeed.

Conversation Questions


  1. How do you think parents can show their children that they are emotionally available and supportive?
  2. Why is it important for parents to create a safe space for their children to express themselves?
  3. What are some ways parents can help their children learn to set boundaries?
  4. How might a lack of emotional support and validation from parents impact a child’s self-esteem and mental well-being?
  5. Can you think of any personal experiences where you felt emotionally supported or unsupported by your parents? How did it affect you?
  6. In what ways can parents strike a balance between being supportive and providing guidance without being overbearing?


  1. How might cultural or societal expectations influence the way parents approach emotional support and validation for their children?
  2. Do you think there are any potential drawbacks or challenges associated with being too emotionally available as a parent? How might these be addressed?
  3. Reflecting on the interview, what role do you think parents’ own experiences with emotional support and validation play in how they parent their own children?

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at