Tanya’s Parenting Problems

man in gray jacket beside boy in gray jacket
Type: Case Studies
Originally published on October 13, 2023

Exploring parenting challenges is a valuable ESL exercise as it offers a real-life context for language development. It encourages the use of vocabulary related to family dynamics, discipline, and emotions. This topic sparks critical thinking as learners analyse parenting approaches and cultural influences, fostering conversational fluency. Discussions enable expressing personal opinions and enhancing language proficiency.

Ask your students to read the following case study, or listen as you read it to them. When finished go through the conversation questions with them. Try and get them to use approprate language to give their opinion and offer advice

Tanya’s Unruly Children

Tanya, a strong single mum living in the UK, faces the daily task of raising two lively children, aged 5 and 7. The energetic pair, seemingly resistant to usual methods of discipline, often tests Tanya’s patience. Their playful antics, like turning the living room into an impromptu obstacle course, highlight the challenges of parenting she deals with.

Tanya, committed to creating a loving environment, has tried different strategies to manage their lively behavior. Time-outs, talking things through, and using positive encouragement have all been part of her efforts. Yet, these attempts often fall short, leaving her feeling a mix of frustration and tiredness. The children’s resistance to bedtime routines, a nightly struggle disrupting the household peace, adds to Tanya’s difficulties, leaving her feeling a bit helpless.

The love Tanya has for her children motivates her to find effective solutions, and she continues to have the spirit of a parent determined to instill discipline and harmony at home. But she needs help.

Conversation Questions

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  • How do you think Tanya might feel about her children's unruly behavior?
  • Can you relate to Tanya's challenges in managing her children's bedtime routines?
  • What might be some effective strategies for Tanya to handle her children's mischievous behavior?
  • What impact do you think the children's behaviour has on Tanya's daily life and well-being?
  • How important do you think consistency is in disciplining children? Why?
  • How might Tanya balance being firm with her children while still showing them love and understanding?
  • If you were in Tanya's shoes, how would you approach the challenge of bedtime routines with her children?
  • Do you think that being a single parent has contributed to the problems Tanya is having?
  • How well-behaved were you as a child?
  • How do cultural differences impact the way parents discipline their children?
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This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.