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1 For questions 1-17, answer by choosing from the sections of the article (A-E). Some of the choices may be required more than once.

Which father or fathers ...

  1. tries to avoid physical punishment?
    Login please   ____________   X
  2. initially resented the restrictions of fatherhood?
    Login please   ____________   X
  3. made a conscious decision to have a child?
    Login please   ____________   X
  4. arranged his accommodation to be near his children?
    Login please   ____________   X
  5. is involved in the children's daily routine?
    Login please   ____________   X
  6. altered his professional duties to take account of his children?
    Login please   ____________   X
  7. share interests with their children?
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    A / B
  8. appreciated his children more as they grew older?
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  9. treated his children as if they were grown up?
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  10. doesn't force his children to maintain contact with him?
    Login please   ____________   X
  11. was not as strict as his children would have wished?
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  12. found his children's interests helped him with his job?
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  13. had their children close together?
    Login please   ____________   X
    B / C
  14. would have liked to attend more school events?
    Login please   ____________   X
  15. did not want to repeat his parents' mistakes?
    Login please   ____________   X

From Here To Paternity


The theatre director

'Because of my bizarre personal life, which I cannot be proud of, I have been blessed with 35 years of small children and I can honestly say I have loved every minute. I had the pleasure of feeding the baby this morning and that for me is what being a father is all about. 'I'm terribly lucky with my children. We all love the same things: opera, theatre, books, music. It creates a great bond, especially now that they are mostly grown up and I have become a friend rather than a father.
'I don't believe in physical violence. I have been guilty of slapping my children in anger, but I don't condone it. I'm sure I have not been a deeply attentive father but I have always tried to be available. I'm here if they need me, always on the basis that they ring me. As soon as you start chasing them to ask why they have not been in touch, you impose this terrible burden of guilt. My parents did it to me and I would never do it to my children.'


The advertising executive

'I was young when they were born, only around 25, and I admit I found the responsibilities and limitations quite irksome. It aged me quickly, but at the same time it kept me young, which something I have always valued.
'As they became teenagers, they introduced me to things I could have drifted away from: music, youth culture, clothes. In a funny way that has been invaluable as far as running the agency has been concerned. I have never felt out of touch.
'Because I was struggling to establish the business when they were young there were things I missed: first concerts, sports days. I'm sad about that, but there are compensations now, like being able to take them on holiday to the south of France.
'They get on well with a lot of our friends and they come to parties with us and advertising awards ceremonies without feeling intimidated. I think it has been an advantage that I do something they see as glamorous and interesting.'

The politician

'My first child was born just as I was about to be elected onto the Greater London Council, and the others followed in quite quick succession. My wife and I vowed that we would carve out time for them but since I have become more and more politically active, time has become a real problem.
'I make it a condition that I will only accept weekend meetings and public appearances where there are facilities for one or more of the kids to come with me. If I did not they would just get squeezed out. This way they have a sense of what I do when I am not with them and there is no feeling of Daddy disappearing.
'I've noticed more and more Mps bringing their kids to the House. Maybe we are all becoming more conscious of the need to involve our children in our lives.'

The writer

'My first marriage broke up when Kate and Bonnie were quite young, so I was forced to examine the whole area of fatherhood more closely than I might otherwise have done. I made enormous efforts to stay in touch with the children. My ex-wife and I even experimented with living next door to each other for a while, so they could come and go as they wished, but I think Kate and Bonnie would say now that they found that quite confusing.
'Kate has said in interviews that I was always there for her, but I am not sure I was a very good father. It is true I was around a lot, but, like a lot of Seventies parents, I think I treated the kids as adults too soon. Kate was complaining only the other day that we were too liberal. I think I could have introduced more systems, more order. Instead I took this very loose approach. I regret that now.
'I still worry about my elder daughters as much as I do about my youngest. In that way your kids never leave you.'

The TV presenter

"I was ready for kids. I'd hit 30, met my wife, we had a lovely house, so we thought,.. " "Why carry on going to the shops every Saturday spending our money on new sofas, when we could have a kid instead?"
"Having my daughter Betty has forced me to come to terms with who I am and what I am. You feel you are doing something very special when you conceive a child, and you are. But you are also becoming just one more parent in a great long line of parents. It's a great leveller.
'I do resent it occasionally but if ever there is a moment of irritation, it is dispelled by just one look at her. A baby's smile is the greatest self-preservation mechanism in the world. It can melt a grown man."

1 - Who do you live with


Read the news extract. Is there a similar trend in your country

...... statistics show that for the first time in the UK, households consisting of two parents and their children are in the minority. The majority of households are now made up of single people living alone, single people sharing, and single parents and their children. The government believes that this trend is set to continue.......

2 - Discuss these points

  1. Do you live, or have you ever lived away from your family?
  2. If not, would you like to? under what circumstances?
  3. What are/were the advantages and disadvantages of living alone or with friends, rather than with family?

3 - Describe people

Read the descriptions of people you might live with and check any unknown vocabulary. Mark them + (easy to live with); - (difficult to live with) and ? (mixed/depends)
  1. someone with a very negative attitude, who moans a lot.
  2. someone very chatty and lively, who likes company.
  3. someone very quiet, who keeps him/herself to him/herself, and respects your privacy.
  4. someone who is often grumpy and irritable
  5. someone very laid-back, who never worries about anything.
  6. someone who likes background noise, and has the TV or music on all the time.
  7. someone unpredictable, whose moods change for no apparent reason
  8. someone very neat and fussy
  9. someone who leaves their stuff all over the place, and doesn't do their share of the housework.
  10. someone who likes things their way, and won't listen to other people's point of view
  11. someone very dynamic and active, who never sits down
  12. someone who lounges around doing nothing for hours on end
  13. someone who sulks rather than saying what is on their mind.

4 - Compare and explain answers

  1. Which characteristics on the list would you personally find most difficult? Is there any behaviour not mentioned that also drives you mad?
  2. Does anyone you live or have lived with have the faults described in Exercise 3? Are you guilty of any of these bad habits?

Wish + SIMPLE PAST - to express a wish about the present
Wish + PAST PERFECT - to express a wish about a past situation
N.B. For a wish about the future, we usually use a modal verb "could" or "would"

5 - Are the sentences correct or incorrect?

  1. I wish I had become a teacher, instead of a secretary.
  2. I wish I studied English more when I was at school.
    incorrect should be 'had studied'
  3. I wish English was easier to learn!
  4. I wish I would win the lottery and become very rich!.
    incorrect should be 'could win'
  5. I wish my children would work harder at school. They're so lazy!
  6. It's Monday morning, but already I wish it was Friday.
  7. I wish the teacher didn't give us so much homework to do today.
    incorrect should be 'hadn't given'
  8. I live in a small house. I wish I would live in a big one.
    incorrect should be 'lived'
  9. I wish I left my boring job and travelled the world, instead of working here.
    incorrect should be 'could leave/travel'
  10. Don't you wish sometimes that you can go back and live your life again?
    incorrect should be 'could'
  11. I drive a polo. It's nice but I wish I would have a Porsche.
    incorrect should be 'had'
  12. You're the best teacher I've ever had. I wish you were my teacher last year as well.
    incorrect should be 'had been'
  13. I don't like these shoes very much. I wish I hadn't bought them.
  14. The weather is awful. I wish it stopped raining.
    incorrect should be 'would stop'
  15. I'd love to live in London. I wish I would live in London.
    incorrect should be 'lived'
  16. He's not arrived yet. I wish he hurried up.
    incorrect should be 'would hurry'
  17. I studied English at school but I never listened to the teacher. I wish I had paid more attention.
    incorrect should be 'paid'
  18. I've no time to see you. I wish you told me you were coming.
    incorrect should be 'had told'
  19. My son always comes home late from school. I wish he came home early for a change.
    incorrect should be 'would come'
  20. I often wish I could stay in bed, instead of getting up to go to work every day.

What do you think?

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