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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of childbirth and advantages and disadvantages of having children when older from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Childbirth

People nowadays tend to have children at older ages.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

There are growing numbers of men and women choosing to have children later in life these days. In my opinion, the financial advantages of this trend far outweigh any perceived downsides.

The most significant tradeoffs of this relate to opportunity and maturity. Many individuals decide early on in their career to wait until their mid to late 30s to have children. The natural risk here is that if the relationship ends before that point or they then have trouble conceiving, they may end up childless. This possibility is lower today due to advances in fertility science but still exists. Furthermore, having children is a maturing experience. If an individual waits until late in life to raise a child, then they delay the experience gained and may later regret their decision. Most parents would openly admit that parenthood is a life-altering milestone and defining moment of adulthood.

Nonetheless, the disadvantages detailed above pale in comparison to the economic merits of delaying childbirth. Firstly, most young parents are not in an ideal situation in their career. Many working parents earn low salaries and work long hours. Once they have a child that means the majority of their day is occupied and they may feel trapped and overburdened. It is then difficult to switch careers or move to a new location as well as afford all the expenses incumbent on parents. This often results in parents becoming resentful and projecting their animosity towards their children or significant other. In contrast, parents who are firmly established in their careers, earn decent salaries, and have savings set aside have both the time and energy to devote to raising their children well without having to stress about making ends meet.

In conclusion, despite marginal risks concerning the opportunity and experience, it is an overall positive for financial reasons that many prospective parents are putting off childbirth. Therefore, this trend should be welcomed and encouraged.

Analysis

1. There are growing numbers of men and women choosing to have children later in life these days. 2. In my opinion, the financial advantages of this trend far outweigh any perceived downsides.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The most significant tradeoffs of this relate to opportunity and maturity. 2. Many individuals decide early on in their career to wait until their mid to late 30s to have children. 3. The natural risk here is that if the relationship ends before that point or they then have trouble conceiving, they may end up childless. 4. This possibility is lower today due to advances in fertility science but still exists. 5. Furthermore, having children is a maturing experience. 6. If an individual waits until late in life to raise a child, then they delay the experience gained and may later regret their decision. 7. Most parents would openly admit that parenthood is a life-altering milestone and defining moment of adulthood.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Use hypotheticals.
  7. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. Nonetheless, the disadvantages detailed above pale in comparison to the economic merits of delaying childbirth. 2. Firstly, most young parents are not in an ideal situation in their career. Many working parents earn low salaries and work long hours. 3. Once they have a child that means the majority of their day is occupied and they may feel trapped and overburdened. 4. It is then difficult to switch careers or move to a new location as well as afford all the expenses incumbent on parents. 5. This often results in parents becoming resentful and projecting their animosity towards their children or significant other. 6. In contrast, parents who are firmly established in their careers, earn decent salaries, and have savings set aside have both the time and energy to devote to raising their children well without having to stress about making ends meet.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Vary long and short sentences.

1. In conclusion, despite marginal risks concerning the opportunity and experience, it is an overall positive for financial reasons that many prospective parents are putting off childbirth. 2. Therefore, this trend should be welcomed and encouraged.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

There are growing numbers of men and women choosing to have children later in life these days. In my opinion, the financial advantages of this trend far outweigh any perceived downsides.

The most significant tradeoffs of this relate to opportunity and maturity. Many individuals decide early on in their career to wait until their mid to late 30s to have children. The natural risk here is that if the relationship ends before that point or they then have trouble conceiving, they may end up childless. This possibility is lower today due to advances in fertility science but still exists. Furthermore, having children is a maturing experience. If an individual waits until late in life to raise a child, then they delay the experience gained and may later regret their decision. Most parents would openly admit that parenthood is a life-altering milestone and defining moment of adulthood.

Nonetheless, the disadvantages detailed above pale in comparison to the economic merits of delaying childbirth. Firstly, most young parents are not in an ideal situation in their career. Many working parents earn low salaries and work long hours. Once they have a child that means the majority of their day is occupied and they may feel trapped and overburdened. It is then difficult to switch careers or move to a new location as well as afford all the expenses incumbent on parents. This often results in parents becoming resentful and projecting their animosity towards their children or significant other. In contrast, parents who are firmly established in their careers, earn decent salaries, and have savings set aside have both the time and energy to devote to raising their children well without having to stress about making ends meet.

In conclusion, despite marginal risks concerning the opportunity and experience, it is an overall positive for financial reasons that many prospective parents are putting off childbirth. Therefore, this trend should be welcomed and encouraged.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

growing numbers more and more people

later in life when they are older

financial advantages good for your money

trend pattern

far outweigh are much stronger than

perceived downsides apparent disadvantages

significant tradeoffs major downsides

opportunity chance

maturity experience

decide early on choose from the beginning

mid to late 30s 35 – 40 years old

natural risk obvious threat

before that point prior to that

trouble conceiving difficulty having kids

may end up childless might finally not have kids

possibility chance

advances developments

fertility science medicine related to having kids

furthermore moreover

maturing experience makes you more like an adult

raise a child help a kid grow up

delay wait until later

regret wish it had been different

openly admit honestly say

parenthood being a parent

life-altering milestone significant moment in life

defining moment significant time

adulthood being an adult

nonetheless regardless

detailed above described over

pale in comparison to not as important as

economic merits helps you make money

delaying childbirth waiting until later to have kids

ideal situation best context

earn low salaries make more money at work

work long hours spend a lot of time at work

majority most of

occupied time taken up

trapped stuck

overburdened too much work

switch careers change jobs

location place

afford pay for

expenses incumbent on money you have to pay

results in causes

resentful annoyed

projecting putting on to someone else

animosity resentment

significant other partner, husband, wife

firmly established solidly in place

earn decent salaries make a lot of money

savings set aside money saved

devote to put time into

without having to not needing to

making ends meet earning enough money to survive

despite marginal risks regardless of small dangers

concerning related to

overall positive good on the whole

prospective parents possible parents later

putting off childbirth delaying having children

therefore thus

welcomed should be applauded

encouraged motivated

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˈnʌmbəz 
ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf 
faɪˈnænʃəl ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz 
trɛnd 
fɑːr aʊtˈweɪ 
pəˈsiːvd ˈdaʊnˌsaɪdz
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt treɪd ɒfs 
ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
məˈtjʊərɪti
dɪˈsaɪd ˈɜːli ɒn 
mɪd tuː leɪt 30ɛs 
ˈnæʧrəl rɪsk 
bɪˈfɔː ðæt pɔɪnt 
ˈtrʌbl kənˈsiːvɪŋ
meɪ ɛnd ʌp ˈʧaɪldlɪs
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
fə(ː)ˈtɪlɪti ˈsaɪəns 
ˈfɜːðəˈmɔː
məˈtjʊərɪŋ ɪksˈpɪərɪəns
reɪz ə ʧaɪld
dɪˈleɪ
rɪˈgrɛt 
ˈəʊpnli ədˈmɪt 
ˈpeərənthʊd 
laɪf-ˈɔːltərɪŋ ˈmaɪlstəʊn 
dɪˈfaɪnɪŋ ˈməʊmənt 
əˈdʌlthʊd
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈdiːteɪld əˈbʌv 
peɪl ɪn kəmˈpærɪsn tuː 
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈmɛrɪts 
dɪˈleɪɪŋ ˈʧaɪldbɜːθ
aɪˈdɪəl ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən 
ɜːn ləʊ ˈsæləriz 
wɜːk lɒŋ ˈaʊəz
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈɒkjʊpaɪd 
træpt 
ˌəʊvəˈbɜːdnd
swɪʧ kəˈrɪəz 
ləʊˈkeɪʃən 
əˈfɔːd 
ɪksˈpɛnsɪz ɪnˈkʌmbənt ɒn 
rɪˈzʌlts ɪn 
rɪˈzɛntfʊl 
prəˈʤɛktɪŋ 
ˌænɪˈmɒsɪti 
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈʌðə
ˈfɜːmli ɪsˈtæblɪʃt 
ɜːn ˈdiːsnt ˈsæləriz
ˈseɪvɪŋz sɛt əˈsaɪd 
dɪˈvəʊt tuː 
wɪˈðaʊt ˈhævɪŋ tuː 
ˈmeɪkɪŋ ɛndz miːt
dɪsˈpaɪt ˈmɑːʤɪnəl rɪsks 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈəʊvərɔːl ˈpɒzətɪv 
prəsˈpɛktɪv ˈpeərənts 
ˈpʊtɪŋ ɒf ˈʧaɪldbɜːθ
ˈðeəfɔː
ˈwɛlkəmd 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤd

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

There are growing numbers of men and women choosing to have children later in life these days. In my opinion, the financial advantages of this trend far outweigh any perceived downsides.

The most significant tradeoffs of this relate to opportunity and maturity. Many individuals decide early on in their career to wait until their mid to late 30s to have children. The natural risk here is that if the relationship ends before that point or they then have trouble conceiving, they may end up childless. This possibility is lower today due to advances in fertility science but still exists. Furthermore, having children is a maturing experience. If an individual waits until late in life to raise a child, then they delay the experience gained and may later regret their decision. Most parents would openly admit that parenthood is a life-altering milestone and defining moment of adulthood.

Nonetheless, the disadvantages detailed above pale in comparison to the economic merits of delaying childbirth. Firstly, most young parents are not in an ideal situation in their career. Many working parents earn low salaries and work long hours. Once they have a child that means the majority of their day is occupied and they may feel trapped and overburdened. It is then difficult to switch careers or move to a new location as well as afford all the expenses incumbent on parents. This often results in parents becoming resentful and projecting their animosity towards their children or significant other. In contrast, parents who are firmly established in their careers, earn decent salaries, and have savings set aside have both the time and energy to devote to raising their children well without having to stress about making ends meet.

In conclusion, despite marginal risks concerning the opportunity and experience, it is an overall positive for financial reasons that many prospective parents are putting off childbirth. Therefore, this trend should be welcomed and encouraged.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/05/how-people-decide-whether-to-have-children/527520/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Talkative Children

  1. Do think being talkative is a good quality for children?
  2. Is it good for children to talk a lot in every situation?
  3. Why do children talk so much?
  4. What makes children talk less as the get older sometimes?
  5. What can teachers do to encourage children to talk more?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Parents should take courses in parenting in order to improve the lives of their children.

To what extent do you agree?


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