Views #1422 | Intermediate (B1)

Naughty Kids

Sarah talks about disciplining kids in public and how it is with her children.

John: So I was wondering about disciplining kids in public. You have kids, right?

Sarah: Yeah. I have two kids. I have a three-year old and a one-year old.

John: Are they ever naughty when you're out in public?

Sarah: Yes. They are naughty out in public. And I think that you shouldn't discipline your children in front of other people. So if I'm out in public and my three-year old starts to be naughty and she's crying because she wants a toy from the store or something, I will pick her up and I take her somewhere quiet until she's calm. Like I might take her to the family bathroom or a quiet hallway, so she can stop crying and stop making noise.

John: I see. So you wouldn't just give her the toy she wants.

Sarah: No. I don't think you should do that sort of thing to make your child be quiet, just give them something until they are quiet because then they'll be bad more in the future. If they know they can cry and scream, and mom and dad will give them what they want, they'll just be worse and worse.

John: Oh, I see. They'll learn that it's okay. They can get what they want by crying.

Sarah: Yeah.

John: But don't you think you'll – won't you lose more time if you have to take your kids to some quiet place to calm down?

Sarah: Yeah. You lose time but I think it's worth it because I think of the future and the time I'll save by making sure that my child is better behaved in the future. And the other thing too is I'm always trying to think about other people. So I don't want other people to have to listen to my child scream and cry. And I also don't want them to see me talking sternly to her because they'll maybe be annoyed or feel uncomfortable. And maybe my child will scream more because she can feel that. So I try to go somewhere quiet.

John: Oh, I see.

Sarah: Sometimes that's impossible though. Sometimes, if you're on the plane or on a train, you can't go anywhere or do anything. You have to stay in your seat.

John: What if you're on an airplane, then do you give your child whatever they are crying for as soon as possible?

Sarah: Yes, I do. I try to plan ahead and I think, okay, I need to have enough toys. I need to have lots of snacks, lots of fun things so that I prevent them from becoming naughty or crying or screaming. But sometimes, you can't help it. And if you're child or baby starts to be loud at that point, I will. I'll give them candy or food or toy, whatever they want.

John: Oh, I get it. So I think you're saying, you think there might be a different reason why kids become naughty. Besides what they want…

Sarah: Yeah.

John: For example, they're hungry or bored.

Sarah: Yeah. I think a lot of the times, children are naughty because maybe they're tired or they're hungry, or they want to play and stretch their legs but they can't because they're on the plane or they're in a stroller at the shopping mall.

John: So instead of waiting for bad behavior and then doing some discipline like yelling at your kids or grabbing their arms, maybe it's better to prevent bad behavior by making sure the kids sleep enough and don't get bored.

Sarah: Yeah. That's what I'm saying. And, you know, my kids are young. Just three and one. So a one-year old can't really be naughty. They're just a baby. So if they need something, I give them food or what they need. But a three-year old, they can throw a tantrum. And so, they can be very naughty.

John: A tantrum?

Sarah: Yeah. When they scream and maybe they fall down on the floor, and they kick their legs. Sometimes they try to hit you. It's really bad. But I think all two-and-three-year-old children sometimes they do them.

John: Oh, I've heard of that. It's called the Terrible Two's.

Sarah: Yes. But it also lasts into three.

John: Well, it sounds like you're a good parent.

Sarah: Oh, I try.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary



They are naughty out in public.

When you are naughty, you are acting badly or showing poor behavior. Notice the following:

  1. The naughty kids always sit in the back of class.
  2. The boy was naughty, so he could not go outside to play.



You shouldn't discipline your children in front of other people.

When you discipline someone, you make them obey rules or punish them for acting badly. Notice the following:

  1. My father was so strict. He disciplined me a lot as a kid.
  2. All children need to be disciplined.

calm down


You have to take your kids to some quiet place to calm down.

When we calm down, we stop being excited or upset. Notice the following:

  1. You need to calm down.
  2. After the fight, she calmed down.



I also don't want them to see me talking sternly to her

A stern action is an action that shows you are very serious about something. Notice the following:

  1. He told me sternly that I needed to improve my work.
  2. My boss is rarely stern, but when he is, he is scary.



They're in a stroller at the shopping mall.

A stroller is a small vehicle a parent can push with their child sitting inside. Notice the following:

  1. She put her child in the stroller.
  2. Can I help you move the stroller down the stairs?



They can throw a tantrum.

When a person or child throws a tantrum, they act very angrily about something. Notice the following:

  1. The child threw a tantrum when he did not get candy.
  2. My customer threw a tantrum because his order was wrong.

Terrible Two's


It's called the Terrible Two's.

The terrible two refers to how children can be very naughty when they are two. Notice the following:

  1. Fortunately we cannot remember our terrible two's.
  2. My child is going through the terrible two's now.

Vocabulary Quiz

naughty • calm down • sternly
stroller • tantrum • terrible
  1. He told me to be quiet.
  2. The baby is sleeping in the .
  3. Relax. Try to .
  4. She is never .
  5. He threw a after he lost.
  6. My son is going through his two's.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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