miércoles, 28 de mayo de 2014

Talking point: Being a parent

Today's talking point is being a parent. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below, so that ideas flow when you meet up with your friends and you can deal with vocabulary issues beforehand.

•    Do you have any children yet?
•    If yes, how old are they? If no, would you like children in the future? Why/Why not?
•    What do you think are the hardest things about being a parent nowadays? Explain your answers.
•    Do you think parents should be strict with their children? Why/Why not?
•    What did you learn from your parents about bringing up children?
•    How have your parents influenced your life?
•    Do you think parents would benefit from lessons on how to be a good parent? Why/Why not?
•    What are the key ingredients of being a good parent?
•    Which of these things you think should be
a) controlled strongly by parents; b) controlled a little by parents; c) left to the child to decide
- watching TV
- playing computer games
- practising a musical instrumet
- going out to play with friends
- doing homework
- choosing what subjects to study at high school
- choosing extracurricular activities

To illustrate the point you can watch this video where President Obama wished a happy Mother's Day to all the moms last year.
He talks about the way his mom and grandmother have influenced him, and how the model of strong, responsible, and loving women have been great role-models to him and his daughters.

I think it's important to recognize that moms come in a lot of different shapes and sizes.
You know, my mother was the single most important influence in my life. I saw her struggles as a single mom. She taught me the values of hard work and responsibility, but also compassion and empathy; being able to look at the world through somebody else’s eyes and stand in their shoes. She was somebody who recognized that those of us who have some talents, or have been given opportunities, that we’ve got to give something back, and I’ll always be indebted to her for that.

My grandmother — she was very different than my mother. Much more sort of stoic and, you know, very much displayed her Kansas roots, but was a constant source of strength for all of us. She was a woman who grew up in the Depression, never had the opportunity to go to college, worked her way up as a secretary to become a vice president of a bank, and frankly, if there hadn’t been a glass ceiling, she probably could have taken over the bank.

Michelle is the best mom I know. And she cares deeply about family.

This is my wife Michelle.

Hey, I’m his date.

She combines the ability to make the kids feel completely loved with a real sense of being able to provide the kids limits. And she’s very good at it. And the proof is in those girls, who are magical. And I’d like to say that I had something to do with it, but I think in fairness, I’ve got to give her most of the credit.

I’m saddened I have to let you go.

That model of strong, responsible women but also incredibly loving women has been a great gift for my girls, because they can see every day the contributions that women are making in their own family and I think that gives them an enormous amount of confidence as they go forward.

The issues that mothers face – those are the issues that matter to all of us. So families count on women having equal opportunity. That’s the reason why something like the Affordable Care Act was so important because a lot of times women are paying more for their health care. That’s why I signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act to make sure that people got an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work because when we do that, that’s not just good for women, that’s good for our country and that’s good for families everywhere.

Happy Mother’s Day to every single mother out there