ESL Topics: Parenting

Sample Questions & Answers:


1.) How many siblings do you have? Are you the eldest sibling in your family?

I have one brother, he's three years my senior.

2.) In Asian cultures, having a son is important. How about your culture and why?

The gender of a newborn in Canada is less important than in Asian countries. It's more of a preference.

3.) Which gender is more costly to raise in your culture? Why?

In Canada, girls are more expensive to raise. Boys are more likely to get a part-time job in their teens and aren't so obsessed with fashion, make-up, and trends, and things are typically cheaper for boys like haircuts and clothing.

4.) What were some things you would forbid your child from doing? Why?

I would absolutely not allow him to spend time in arcades or playing videos games. I find things of that nature to be a waste of time.

A photo of a South Korean woman wearing a traditional Hanbok dress.


1.) What would you do differently from your parents if you were raising children today?

I would give my children an opportunity to pursue their own interests instead of forcing hobbies or activities upon them. I would also put less emphasis on grades and more emphasis on learning.

2.) Were you spoiled as a child? Will you spoil your children with gifts?

When I was a child, relatives spoiled me. However, I rarely got what I wanted from my parents, except for Christmas and birthdays. I won't get my children anything unless it's a special occasion or they deserve a gift due to hard work or success.

3.) Obesity is a growing problem among children. Will you feed your children whatever they want? How do you feel about parents giving sweets and candies to very young children or toddlers?

I think poor eating habits are a travesty, and leads to bad habits in adolescence and adult life. I eat healthy and would like to lead by example.


1.) Were your parents "helicopter" parents or "free-range" parents?

My parents were definitely "free-range parents", I could come and go as I pleased. They also had little influence over how I spent my time outside of school.

2.) Is it necessary to childproof everything in a household? Has parenting gone to far?

Children today are raised in very safe, protected environments. I think it's important for children to learn and experience things on their own.

3.) Should women give up their careers following childbirth? When should they return to work?

In my opinion, I feel women should give up their careers and focus on childrearing at least until the child is a toddler. They should return to work when the child is old enough to attend kindergarten.

4.) Stay-at-home mothers are common. However, stay-at-home fathers are a rarity. How are stay-at-home fathers' perceived in your culture?

While not as uncommon as they once were in the past, they still tend to be teased by their friends. Dual income households are the norm lately in Western society. A stay-at-home dad is often considered less manly and feminine.


1.) In English, we can say "he is three years older than me." or "He is three years my senior." Both terms share the same meaning.

2.) Stay-at-home mom has replaced the term housewife over the last decade. Both terms share the same meaning.


Match the words from column 1 with the best-suited answer in column 2.

Column 1 Column 2
1.) siblings a.) expensive
2.) costly b.) preoccupied
3.) obsessed c.) similar to
4.) forbid d.) brothers & sisters
5.) "things of that nature" e.) between the age of 1 and 3.
6.) toddler f.) mockery, inferior
7.) travesty g.) not allowed
8.) childrearing h.) safe for children
9.) childproof i.) associated with masculinity
10.) manly j.) raising children


1.) Do you have any siblings or are you an only child?

2.) Were you ever obsessed with any hobbies, music groups, or activities as a child?

3.) What were you forbidden from doing when you were an adolescent.

4.) Are you involved with any costly hobbies or activities at the moment? For example, photography, swimming, etc..?

5.) Is childrearing something you are looking forward to?

6.) Would you consider yourself more career-oriented or family-oriented? Do you want to be a stay-at-home parent?

7.) Which approach to childrearing will you take as a parent, a helicopter parent or a free-range parent?

8.) Is obesity a concern for parents in your culture? How about during your childhood? Did you feel pressure to remain thin?


  • siblings: Brothers or sister. "I'm an only child. I have no siblings."
  • costly: Expensive. "Having children is a costly endeavor."
  • obsessed: Always on your mind; usually in a negative manner. "I can't believe how many fully grown men are obsessed with StarCraft!"
  • forbid: Not allowed. "As children we were forbidden from watching television past ten o'clock."
  • things of that nature: Similar to. "He loves art and music and things of that nature."
  • spoiled: To harm the character of a child be being too lenient or indulgent; pamper. "Since he's the only child he spoiled with everything he wants!"
  • obesity: Being overweight to the point of creating serious health conditions. "The epidemic of obesity in America has reached all time highs."
  • toddler: A child between the age of 1 and 3. Sometimes referred to as the terrible twos. "He's quite big for a toddler."
  • travesty: To take a serious issue and mock it (make fun of it). "The fact that his mother doesn't think her son has a weight problem is a travesty."
  • "helicopter" parents: Parents who constantly watch over their children, allowing very little freedom. "Most parents allow very little freedom to their children. Helicopter parenting is quite likely the cause of this."
  • "free-range" parents: Parents who allow their children to live more freely and give them more choices in their decision making. "I think a lot of his creativity comes from his free-range parenting techniques his parents used while raising him."
  • childproof: Made with children's safety in mind. "After we had children we went around the house trying to childproof everything to ensure our newborns safety."
  • childrearing: The process of raising a child. "My wife does most of the childrearing since I work at the office all day."
  • stay-at-home parent: A wife or husband that takes care of the children while the other spouse works. "I would love to be a stay-at-home father but someone has to pay the bills."
  • manly: Behaviors or activities associated with men and masculinity. "Playing rugby is a very manly sport."

Daily Expressions, Phrasal Verbs & Idioms:

1.) "hit it off": When two people get along very well.

"I think we will get the contract, or sales team really hit it off with the companies CEO." "My date was fantastic, we hit it off quite well."

2.) "from the get go": From the very beginning.

"He was an excellent father from the get go." "He has been in the lead of the race since the get go."

 a collage of pictures related to South Korea.