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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of parents spending less and less time with their children today.

Remember to take a look at my online courses here and my writing corrections here.

You can also find my exclusive IELTS PDFs here on Patreon.

Dave

Be sure to listen to the audio first for some extra listening practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Parents Spending Time with Kids

Many parents today do not spend much time with their children.

Why is this?

Does this affect parents or children more?

Real Past IELTS Exam

These days it is becoming increasingly common for parents to spend less and less time with their children. In my opinion, this is because of some distinctly modern distractions and has a far greater effect on children.

Both parents and children are vulnerable to today’s consumer electronics. In the past, parents and children might have been distracted by television or a good book but they were also likely to play a board game together or go for a walk. This started to change with the advent of the internet and portable devices. Many children only care about using their phone or tablet to play games or watch Netflix. Parents are similarly addicted to games, entertainment and the allure of social media. This inclination towards passive entertainment persists even when taking their children out because though parents are physically present, phones often demand most of their attention.

This primarily impacts children as they are more impressionable. Research has shown that the majority of an individual’s personality and habits are formed early in life. If a parent neglects a child in favour of their own desires then they are likely to either act out seeking attention or withdraw into their own shell. The child in question might lack not only the supportive and unconditional love that is essential for a healthy upbringing, but also assume and repeat the negative behaviours of their role models. Many children overcompensate for their parent’s implicit rejection by numbing themselves by retreating into books, television, YouTube, social media or whatever will give them the attention they crave. This long-cultivated trauma can even follow them throughout adulthood.

In conclusion, the growth of consumer electronics is the source of parental neglect and it mainly impairs the mental health of children. Parents must take it on themselves today to find ways to counter the injurious implications of trading their children’s well-being for a sustained glance at a screen.

Analysis

1. These days it is becoming increasingly common for parents to spend less and less time with their children. 2. In my opinion, this is because of some distinctly modern distractions and has a far greater effect on children.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion.

1. Both parents and children are vulnerable to today’s consumer electronics. 2. In the past, parents and children might have been distracted by television or a good book but they were also likely to play a board game together or go for a walk. 3. This started to change with the advent of the internet and portable devices. 4. Many children only care about using their phone or tablet to play games or watch Netflix. 5. Parents are similarly addicted to games, entertainment and the allure of social media. 6. This inclination towards passive entertainment persists even when taking their children out because though parents are physically present, phones often demand most of their attention.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. I begin to develop my main idea with a comparison to the past.
  3. Use specific details to support your main idea.
  4. Continue to support your main idea with clear examples.
  5. Here I switch to deal with how it affects both children and parents.
  6. Draw conclusions/state the results.

1. This primarily impacts children as they are more impressionable. 2. Research has shown that the majority of an individual’s personality and habits are formed early in life. 3. If a parent neglects a child in favour of their own desires then they are likely to either act out seeking attention or withdraw into their own shell. 4. The child in question might lack not only the supportive and unconditional love that is essential for a healthy upbringing, but also assume and repeat the negative behaviours of their role models. 5. Many children overcompensate for their parent’s implicit rejection by numbing themselves by retreating into books, television, YouTube, social media or whatever will give them the attention they crave. 6. This long-cultivated trauma can even follow them throughout adulthood.

  1. Write another topic sentence with another clear main idea at the end.
  2. You can quote general research to support your ideas.
  3. I try to include the very specific effects.
  4. Continue developing the same main idea and don’t switch to a new one.
  5. Keep stating the full results.
  6. Conclude with further results – summary isn’t very important.

1. In conclusion, the growth of consumer electronics is the source of parental neglect and it mainly impairs the mental health of children. 2. Parents must take it on themselves today to find ways to counter the injurious implications of trading their children’s well-being for a sustained glance at a screen.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Include a final thought/detail.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

These days it is becoming increasingly common for parents to spend less and less time with their children. In my opinion, this is because of some distinctly modern distractions and has a far greater effect on children.

Both parents and children are vulnerable to today’s consumer electronics. In the past, parents and children might have been distracted by television or a good book but they were also likely to play a board game together or go for a walk. This started to change with the advent of the internet and portable devices. Many children only care about using their phone or tablet to play games or watch Netflix. Parents are similarly addicted to games, entertainment and the allure of social media. This inclination towards passive entertainment persists even when taking their children out because though parents are physically present, phones often demand most of their attention.

This primarily impacts children as they are more impressionable. Research has shown that the majority of an individual’s personality and habits are formed early in life. If a parent neglects a child in favour of their own desires then they are likely to either act out seeking attention or withdraw into their own shell. The child in question might lack not only the supportive and unconditional love that is essential for a healthy upbringing, but also assume and repeat the negative behaviours of their role models. Many children overcompensate for their parent’s implicit rejection by numbing themselves by retreating into books, television, YouTube, social media or whatever will give them the attention they crave. This long-cultivated trauma can even follow them throughout adulthood.

In conclusion, the growth of consumer electronics is the source of parental neglect and it mainly impairs the mental health of children. Parents must take it on themselves today to find ways to counter the injurious implications of trading their children’s well-being for a sustained glance at a screen.

Answers

these days nowadays

increasingly common more and more popular

less and less time not as much time with

distinctly modern distractions new ways of grabbing your attention

far greater effect much larger impact

vulnerable can be exploited

consumer electronics phones, tables, TVs, etc.

distracted not paying attention

good book a book you like

board game games like Monopoly

advent beginning of

portable devices phones, tablets

similarly addicted also can’t stop using

allure attraction

inclination towards passive entertainment persists tendency to watch things and not be active continues

though despite

physically present there in person

demand most of their attention take most of their time

primarily impacts mostly effects

impressionable easily influenced

majority most of

formed early in life starts from childhood

neglects not pay attention to

in favour of preferring

desires wants

act out seeking attention have bad behaviour to get attention

withdraw into their own shell become passive, less open/active

lack don’t have

supportive helpful

unconditional love caring without conditions

healthy upbringing supporting environment

assume take on

repeat do again

negative behaviours bad actions

overcompensate go to far in reacting to

implicit rejection not explicitly stated dissaproval of

numbing not feeling

retreating hiding away from

crave want

long-cultivated trauma long period of neglect/hurt

follow them throughout adulthood stay with them forever

consumer electronics phones, TVs, etc.

parental neglect parents not paying attention/caring

mainly impairs mostly hurts

counter the injurious implications fight back against the hurtful effects

trading swapping

children’s well-being mental/physical health

sustained glance at a screen looking a long time at your device

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

ðiːz deɪz 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən 
lɛs ænd lɛs taɪm 
dɪsˈtɪŋktli ˈmɒdən dɪsˈtrækʃənz 
fɑː ˈgreɪtər ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈvʌlnərəbl 
kənˈsjuːmər ɪlɛkˈtrɒnɪks
dɪsˈtræktɪd 
gʊd bʊk 
bɔːd geɪm 
ˈædvənt 
ˈpɔːtəbl dɪˈvaɪsɪz
ˈsɪmɪləli əˈdɪktɪd 
əˈljʊə 
ˌɪnklɪˈneɪʃən təˈwɔːdz ˈpæsɪv ˌɛntəˈteɪnmənt pəˈsɪsts 
ðəʊ 
ˈfɪzɪkəli ˈprɛznt
dɪˈmɑːnd məʊst ɒv ðeər əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n
ˈpraɪmərɪli ˈɪmpækts 
ɪmˈprɛʃnəbl
məˈʤɒrɪti 
fɔːmd ˈɜːli ɪn laɪf
nɪˈglɛkts 
ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
dɪˈzaɪəz 
ækt aʊt ˈsiːkɪŋ əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n 
wɪðˈdrɔː ˈɪntuː ðeər əʊn ʃɛl
læk 
səˈpɔːtɪv 
ˌʌnkənˈdɪʃənl lʌv 
ˈhɛlθi ˈʌpˌbrɪŋɪŋ
əˈsjuːm 
rɪˈpiːt 
ˈnɛgətɪv bɪˈheɪvjəz 
ˌəʊvəˈkɒmpɛnseɪt 
ɪmˈplɪsɪt rɪˈʤɛkʃən 
ˈnʌmɪŋ
rɪˈtriːtɪŋ 
kreɪv
lɒŋ-ˈkʌltɪveɪtɪd ˈtrɔːmə
ˈfɒləʊ ðɛm θru(ː)ˈaʊt əˈdʌlthʊd
kənˈsjuːmər ɪlɛkˈtrɒnɪks 
pəˈrɛntl nɪˈglɛkt 
ˈmeɪnli ɪmˈpeəz 
ˈkaʊntə ði ɪnˈʤʊərɪəs ˌɪmplɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈtreɪdɪŋ 
ˈʧɪldrənz wɛl-ˈbiːɪŋ 
səsˈteɪnd glɑːns æt ə skriːn

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

T____________s it is becoming i_____________________________n for parents to spend l_____________________e with their children. In my opinion, this is because of some d_______________________________s and has a f________________________t on children.

Both parents and children are v________________e to today’s c_____________________s. In the past, parents and children might have been d_______________d by television or a g_____________k but they were also likely to play a b________________e together or go for a walk. This started to change with the a___________t of the internet and p__________________s. Many children only care about using their phone or tablet to play games or watch Netflix. Parents are s_________________d to games, entertainment and the a__________e of social media. This i___________________________________________________s even when taking their children out because t__________h parents are p___________________t, phones often d_________________________________n.

This p_________________________s children as they are more i__________________e. Research has shown that the m___________y of an individual’s personality and habits are f_______________________e. If a parent n___________s a child i____________f their own d___________s then they are likely to either a_____________________________n or w___________________________________l. The child in question might l_______k not only the s__________________e and u____________________e that is essential for a h_____________________g, but also a_____________e and r___________t the n________________________s of their role models. Many children o_______________________e for their parent’s i____________________n by n_______________g themselves by r________________g into books, television, YouTube, social media or whatever will give them the attention they c________e. This l_____________________________a can even f______________________________d.

In conclusion, the growth of c___________________s is the source of p__________________________t and it m__________________s the mental health of children. Parents must take it on themselves today to find ways to c_________________________________s of t_______________g their c_________________________g for a s______________________________n.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Learn more about emotional abuse from parents here:

Reading Practice

Read more about how screen time affects parenting here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/the-dangers-of-distracted-parenting/561752/

Speaking Practice

Answer these relevant questions from the speaking exam below:

Spending Time Alone

Do you spend a lot of time by yourself?

What do you usually do when you’re by yourself?

Has what you do when your’re by yourself changed a lot?

Is it important to have time for yourself?

Real Past IELTS Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following topic then check with my sample answer below:

Many parents encourage young people to leave home when they become older, while others think they should stay at home with the family.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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