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IELTS Writing Podcast

176 EpisodesProduced by Lilie KingWebsite

Join Lilie King, a real IELTS candidate, and discover what kinds of vocabulary examiners want to see to get a 7+ on your writing test...


5. My Real Exam Question: Punishing Parents VS Punishing Children

Some people think children should be punished if they commit a crime. Other people believe that their parents are the ones that should be punished. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


Some people claim that there should be certain types of punishment for children who break the law, while others feel that it is parents who should receive the punishment. Although punishing children helps them to build good behavior, I believe that the punishment should be given to parents because they do not give enough guidance to their children (because they are absent from their children’s lives).


On the one hand, it can be argued that children can be more disciplined if their criminal behavior is punished. This is because children who are punished will remember their misbehavior, thus not making the same mistake next time. According to a study by the University of Chicago based on 800 American children who were sent to prison because they stole some products at local stores (because of stealing at local stores), 70% of them did not commit the same crime again. However, I disagree with this point of view, for such punishment may make children disobey even harder against those who have punished them (for using punishment to discipline children is very likely to cause them to develop some mental health problems).


On the other hand, children’s criminal acts are a result of their parents’ lack of guidance (a result of parental absence). Parents nowadays are faced with a growing burden of workloads and so unable to allocate enough time for monitoring their children. When their children are alone, they are very likely to copy other people’s bad behavior. For instance, research by Rice University reveals that children whose parents spent less than 22 hours per week with them had a 30% higher crime rate than their counterparts whose parents were always around (there was a 30 percent higher incidence of crime among children whose parents spent less than 22 hours per week with them than among those whose parents were always around). I agree with this view, because only when parents are punished can they try their best to budget some time for their children.


In conclusion, although punishing children leads them to behave better, I believe parents are to blame because they do not guide their children well (because they do not spend enough time with their children).

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