Sesión 3

Some people just don't stop talking... Do your friends and family offer you advice you didn't ask for? Read an article about the unwanted and often annoying hints and tips given to new parents.

Sesiones en esta unidad

Sesión 3 puntuación

0 / 8

  • 0 / 8
    Actividad 1

Actividad 1

Annoying advice for new parents

Eleven months old? No chocolate for you!

New parents have a tough time... they have to adapt to a life with very little sleep, with a new level of responsibility, and with one unexpected challenge: unwanted advice!

In this session we're going to read an article about annoying advice. Then there's a quiz which will test how well you understood, and how well you can use verb patterns.

To do

Read the article twice. The first time you read, try to answer this question: What does the author suggest your partner's parents mean when they say your child is hungry?

Leer el texto y completar la actividad

For parents about to have their first baby, there will be many things in short supply – sleep, for example. One thing, however, that new parents will not be short of is advice.

Family, friends and even total strangers are always keen to pass on their worldly expertise. And you can’t escape the self-appointed ‘experts’ on TV, in books, and on the internet. Parents-to-be, be warned!

We all have those competent (often patronising), friends. You know the type. Their life is organized to an abnormal degree. The right school has been arranged since conception. Their babies have never cried or thrown up in the car. When you discuss weaning, potty training or getting babies to sleep, they make it clear that they know everything and you know nothing.

Then there are those whose own life is falling apart but who still offer to share their wisdom with you. They haven’t spoken to their own children for a decade, but they consider themselves relationship gurus. You haven’t asked them to advise you, but they drone on endlessly.

The in-laws are another minefield. Before the birth, they promised not to interfere, but at every opportunity they tell you that they know what your child is thinking: “I’m sure he’s hungry.” “I think he wants to sleep.” There is the unspoken implication you are not up to the job.

Don’t forget the internet of course. Trudy at the gym recommends reading the blog of an ‘expert’ living in a desert in Idaho, whose advice has the moral authority of a ransom note, whilst Rudy at bookclub suggests checking out the YouTube video of a French psychologist who is the latest craze. They’re on the internet, so their advice must be true.

And then there are the parenting books. Behind those covers with cute babies and toddlers making fairy cakes are hefty manuals worthy of army boot camps. Inside are lists of rules for everything – even advising you to open the curtains promptly at 8.23am.

But don’t despair. There are some useful bits of advice out there: they propose being realistic from the start, they warn you to forget having a social life; and suggest giving up such cherished ideals as never allowing your child to eat chocolate or watch TV before they are one year old. There are also excellent practical tips for new mums and dads: if visitors offer to make tea, accept; sleep when baby sleeps and forget the housework.

Perhaps the best advice is to ignore all advice and do it your own way.

Answer

What does the author suggest your partner's parents mean when they say your child is hungry? The author suggests that your partner's parents might be thinking you're not a good enough parent (you're not up to the job).

To do

Now it's time to look at the article in detail. Read it again and then answer the questions. They will test your general understanding and your knowledge of verb patterns. Good luck!

Unwanted advice quiz

8 Questions

How well did you understand the article? Choose the right answers to these questions.

Felicitaciones. Has completado el quiz.
Excellent! ¡Muy bien! Bad luck! Tu puntaje :
x / y

End of Session 3

In Session 4, Finn offers to look after a friend's young kids. He soon finds out how difficult it can be...

Sesión de vocabulario

  • in short supply
    not enough

    be short of
    not enough

    worldly
    experienced in life 

    parents-to-be
    people who will become parents 

    competent
    able to do something well 

    patronising
    behaving towards someone as if they are stupid 

    conception
    process of a male and female sex cell uniting to form the start of a baby 

    weaning
    introducing a baby to food other than its mother’s milk 

    potty training
    teaching young children to use a potty (small bowl) or toilet 

    gurus
    a skilled or knowledgeable person who gives advice and is respected 

    drone on
    talk in a boring way  

    implication
    suggesting something without saying it directly 

    up to the job           
    be good enough 

    ransom
    money demanded in exchange for someone who has been taken prisoner 

    toddlers
    young children 

    hefty
    big, heavy

    manuals
    books with instructions (often on how to operate a machine) 

    boot camps
    short military training camps with harsh discipline 

    cherished
    highly valued