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Last Updated November 12, 2021, 12:37 pm
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From here to paternity

1family brother sister mother father ALT IMG

From Here To Paternity

A

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.

B

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.

C

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.

D

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.

E

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.

Which section of the article refers to each of these: Answer (A-E). Some might refer to two sections. EG: A B
Which father or fathers ...
  1. tries to avoid physical punishment? )___
  2. initially resented the restrictions of fatherhood? )___
  3. made a conscious decision to have a child? )___
  4. arranged his accommodation to be near his children? )___
  5. is involved in the children's daily routine? )___
  6. altered his professional duties to take account of his children? )___
  7. share interests with their children? )___
  8. appreciated his children more as they grew older? )___
  9. treated his children as if they were grown up? )___
  10. doesn't force his children to maintain contact with him? )___
  11. was not as strict as his children would have wished? )___
  12. found his children's interests helped him with his job? )___
  13. had their children close together? )___
  14. would have liked to attend more school events? )___
  15. did not want to repeat his parents' mistakes? )___
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