1. When you were a teenager, how did you spend your free time?
2. Did you spend most of your time at your own house, at a friends’ houses or out?
3. Do/did your parents worry about you?
Exercise 2. Read the following point of view
My name is Ron Perotta. I have three teenagers, two girls and a boy. I want to tell you it’s not easy to have kids nowadays. They all laugh because I’m always saying. “When I was a kid ...” But, it’s true: when I was a kid, things were different. Families were closer. We all went to church together. I make my family go to church every Sunday, but we are the only ones in our neighborhood who go. So my kids think that religion is just another one of Dad’s traditional ideas. There is not much support for traditional ideas nowadays.
It’s hard to be a parent these days. My parents never had to worry about drugs, about sex, about the danger for their kids on the street. Kids weren’t even supposed to know sex, unless they lived on a farm, until they were sixteen or so. There were some problems, I guess, even then, but weren’t as many. Drugs and violence weren’t all around us like they are now.
Well, I’m a realist. I expect my kids will probably try smoking and alcohol and my girls may live with their boyfriends. I won’t like it and I’ll fight to prevent it, but that’s the way it is. But I think that basically my kids are good kids. I think they’ll grow up and get married. They’ll probably have the same kinds of values that my wife and I have. I just wish it were 1965 again. Those were the good old days!
Exercise 3. Read each of the following statements carefully to determine whether each is true (T), false (F), or impossible to know (ITK).
1. _____ The writer is a mother.
2. _____ Ron has six children.
3. _____ Ron’s neighbours go to church every Sunday.
4. _____ Drugs, sex, and violence were big problems when Ron was young.
5. _____ Kids who lived on a farm were supposed to know about sex.
6. _____ Ron thinks it is a good idea for people to live together without being married.
7. _____ Ron thinks that traditional ideas are unpopular now.
8. _____ Ron’s children tried marijuana last year.
9. _____ Ron thinks that religion is important.
10. _____ Ron is married.
Exercise 4. Circle the letter of the words with the same meaning as the underlined words.
1. We have five kids.
a. parents b. relatives c. children
2. It’s hard to be a parent.
a. difficult b. single c. busy
3. I can’t prevent my friend from moving.
a. stop b. follow c. develop
4. I am worried about my children.
a. angry b. concerned c. idealistic
5. What kind of ice cream do you have?
a. product b. area c. type
6. The PTA is the Parent-Teacher Association.
a. child b. father or mother c. president
7. They seem to grow up too quickly.
a. become adults b. take drugs c. continue
8. Inthose days I felt like a different person.
a. another place b. the past c. postwar times
9. What else do you want to do today?
a. already b. often c. other things
10. Will you support me with this new idea?
a. prevent b. help c. object
Exercise 5. Answer the following questions:
1. Why do his children laugh when he says, “When I was a kid ...”?
2. Were things really different when he was a teenager?
3. Why is it hard to be a parent these days, to his mind?
4. Is he a pessimist or an optimist?
Exercise 6. Answer the following questions and then share your answers with a classmate or with the class.
1. Which three of the following worries do parents have most about their children in your country?
_____ physical danger
_____ premarital sex
_____ loss of religion
_____ extreme religions
_____ teenage pregnancy
_____ violence outside the home
_____ violence inside the home
_____ teenage suicide
2. Now decide the three most difficult problems for parents today in the U.S.
3. Inthe United States, teenagers usually go through a stage that is very difficult as they try to establish their independence from their parents. Is this “rebellious” stage common in your country?
4. Some parents and teenagers get along better than others. What do you think makes the difference?