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The Bell Family Charter

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Homework: All members of the family must do an equal share of the housework according to age and ability. A list of duties will be put up each week.

Free Time: Children and parents have an equal right to free time.

Visitors: Children have a right to bring friends home when­ever they like.

Bedtime: Bedtime will be fixed according to age. Children of 15 may go to bed when they like.

Rules for parents: Parents must not break promises. Parents must not cancel plans suddenly. Parents must not criticize their children in public.

N.B. Parents are not always right.


a) What is your opinion of the charter?


b) What does it imply?


c) Do you agree or dsiagree with the following statements? What are the arguments for and against each one?


1. Boys should do so much work as girls. 2. Small children should be given jobs too. 3. Children should be given as much free time as adults. 4. Parents must not do anything to upset their children.


d) Talk it over:


1. What duties do parents have that children don't? 2. How will you bring up your children?



5. Team up with your partner and discuss the following rules for parents. Extend on the items given below:


1. Take a good look at yourself; consciously or unconsciously children pattern themselves on their parents. If you have cer­tain traits you don't want your children to inherit, make a con­stant effort to get rid of these qualities. In other words, one of the most effective ways to child control is self-control.

2. Be relaxed. If you are ill at ease with children, they know it and become uneasy themselves. Children are very sensitive to tension.

3. Assert your authority. From the beginning try to make it clear to the children that while you love them and make any reasonable sacrifices for them, they are not rulers and have limit­ed privileges and definite obligations.

4. Don't expect miracles. The rule is particularly important in trying to cope with children. It is both unfair and unwise to expect miracles in dealing with children. Unfair, because very often they simply haven't reached that level of achievement yet. And unwise because if you constantly demand more than a child can give, you damage his confidence and may even end by making him doubt his value as a human being. Modern chil­dren grow physically and mentally very fast. But their rate of emotional growth is the same as it always was.

5. Be consistent. Few things upset a child more than indeci­sive and erratic treatment from two people who represent law and order and stability in his world — his parents.

(From: "The Secret World of Kids" by A. Ldnkletter)


6. Work in pairs or in small groups. Discuss problems of child upbringing outlined in the extracts below:


1. Timidity is another common personal defect in children. A reasonable amount of timidity is normal enough. But some children are more fearful than others. Don't force the child to face his fears! Most children outgrow their timidity.

2. Selfishness. Many parents complain that their children are self-centered, never think of anyone but themselves. Have no sense of responsibility. Won't share things and so on... Self­ishness is often prolonged in kids by parents who tend to make slaves of themselves for the children's benefit.



3. It is high time to stop being permissive to children. It is urgent to change your attitude and learn to take a stand and be tough in your love.


7. Work in groups of three or four. Decide which of the following state­ments you agree or disagree with. Discuss these with the other members of your group. Be ready to report your discussion to other groups:


1. There's never a problem child, there are only problem parents. 2. Anyone who expects quick results in child upbring­ing is an incurable optimist. 3. Under dictatorial control ado­lescents work submissively, show little initiative. 4. Happiness may be defined as the state of minimal repression. 5. Healthy children do not fear the future, they anticipate it gladly. 6. The adults who fear that youth will be corrupted by freedom are those who are corrupt themselves.


8. The text below is an extract from a TV discussion on a burning problem of today "Horror Firms and Children" — a matter of great concern to many people in the world:


Guests participating in the discussion use expressions that convey respect to one another, and though at times they com­pletely disagree with something they remain tactful and do not let the discussion degenerate into quarrelling.


Read the text. The expressions in bold type show how people react to opinion. Note them down:


TV Host: What were you saying?

Woman: I was saying that in my view, and I'd like to emphasize it, kids today got used to all kinds of violence. We scared much easier in my daysr

Teacher: Exactly. My personal opinion is that it goes even further than that. The children can take so much more violence now and unfortunately not even think about it.

Man: True. They even laugh at scenes which horrified us.

Psychiatrist:Don't you think that documentaries about war and hostilities showing awful violence may have something to do with that?

Film director: I'm not sure you are right about it! I would find it difficult to link violence to documentaries.


Art critic: As for me, I can certainly give the idea my backing. The young people are easily affected by violence on screen.

Woman: You have my whole support!Cartoons and TV films have become so much worse. There is an awful lot of violence and horror everywhere.

TV Host: The question is whetherwe have a community in Hollywood which goes for a young audience with their horror films in a gross and socially harmful way.

Art critic: Imust say I can see no reason to oppose.

Psychiatrist: But Walt Disney had a lot of horror in his films which also scared kids, things like kids turned into donkeys in "Pinnoccio".

Woman: Coming from you... I can't believe it! As far as I am able to judge"Pinnoccio" bears no relation to horror films.

Teacher: You are quite right!Disney has done so much good for the children!

TV Host: Do we have in this greedy arena of film-making to rely too much on effect, illusion, technology which can make horrors beyond imagination, such as visualization of a man blown up, a man decapitated in front of your eyes?

Film director: Iam inclined to thinkthat kids are looking for fantasies, aren't they? And we are giving them to kids. All the samethey are having horror in their minds.

Man: Here I differ with you!The visualization of horror deadens children's souls. That's what Is so dangerous about it!

TV Host: What kind of grown-ups our kids are going to be if today they are already used to all kinds of film horrors and are not terrified by the awful sights and especially human suffering!


9. When reacting to opinion we may state our agreement, approval as well as complete solidarity with what has been said, or we may express only a partial agreement. One may be straightforward in stating his view, or cautious, or even evasive. Here are some comments that may be used to express one's positive response:


Right; You are quite right; True; Exactly; I am all out for it; I am in favor of it. You have my full support; I am giving it my backing; I can see no reason to oppose.



When stating our negative response or partial disagreement we can use the following:


I am afraid not; No, you are not right here; I can't approve it (accept); No, it bears no relation to; I would find it difficult to (accept it).


The following phrases may be used to introduce either agreement or dis­agreement:


My personal opinion is; I am inclined to think that; It goes further than that; That's one way of looking at it, but....


a) From the dialogue above (Ex. 8) make up a list of phrases expressing response to opinion differentiating between 1) agreement and disagreement; 2) phrases worded in a straightforward way and those worded in a less cate­gorical, polite way.


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