HomeVocabularyIELTS Vocabulary: Topic FAMILY AND CHILDREN


FAMILY AND CHILDREN is a common topic in IELTS. Here is a list of words that you need to know to get a good score.

1. a dysfunctional family
Meaning: a family in which the relationships are bad or unhealthy
Example: Children who come from a dysfunctional family often exhibit behavioral problems at school.
2. to end in divorce
Meaning: to end a marriage legally
Example: It is increasingly common in my country for marriages to end indivorce.
3. a divorce settlement
Meaning: refers to the decisions about the division of assets when a marriage ends
Example: The negotiation of a divorce settlement is often a long and expensive process.
4. patterns of behavior
Meaning: ways of acting and doing things (either positive or negative)
Example: Patterns of behaviour copied from parents often influence the way that children grow up.
5. a form/method of contraception
Meaning: the method intended to prevent a woman becoming pregnant
Example: The various forms of contraception freely available nowadays are an important factor in limiting the size of families.
6. formative years
Meaning: A period of a person’s life, usually childhood, that has a big influence on the person they become later in life
Example: UNICEF states that the early childhood years from birth through age 8 are formative years in terms of intelligence, personality and social behavior.
7. to shape a child’s personality/ value
Meaning: to decide or influence the form of a child’s personality
Example: Parents are very influential in shaping their children’s personality through the example that they set.
8. child custody
Meaning: the decision over whether the father or the mother has responsibility for looking after the children following a divorce
Example: With rising divorce rates in many developed countries, child custody cases are becoming increasingly common in the law courts.
9. birth control
Meaning: the use of a method to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant
Example: The many methods of birth control now available have contributed to a reduction in the birth rate in many developed countries.
10. to have an abortion/to terminate a pregnancy
Meaning: to prevent the birth of an unborn baby by having a medical operation
Example: Although some religious pressure groups disagree, many people claim that it is the right of a woman to have an abortion if she wishes.
11. a family planning clinic
Meaning: a clinic which gives advice and help on controlling the number of children which a woman has
Example: Governments in all countries should provide funding for a network of family planning clinics.
12. to pay child support
Meaning: refers to regular payments to help with expenses to look after the children after a divorce or separation
Example: After a divorce, the mother usually has custody of the children and the father has to pay child support until the children become adults.
13. a single parent household
Meaning: a family in which one person takes care of their child or children without a husband, wife or partner
Example: As a result of changes in society, single parent households are no longer considered unusual.
14. working mothers
Meaning: women who have a job and also have to take care of their children
Example: As more and more women have entered the workforce, working mothers have to balance the demands of home and work.
15. child-minding
Meaning: caring informally (not in schools) for children when parents are busy or working
Example: Working mothers with very young children face the problem of organising child-minding while they are away from home.
16. to enter adult life
Meaning:the stage when adolescents are almost old enough to be legally independent of their parents
Example: Parents who have devoted time and thought to raising and educating their children have given them a good prepartion to enter adult life.
17. generation gap
Meaning: the experience of not understanding your parents or grandparents and them not understanding you due to being raised during different time periods, in a different cultural setting
Example: They were able to bridge the generation gap by watching old and new movies together and discussing them.”
18. shapers of a nation’s tomorrow
Meaning: refers to young generations who decide a nation’s future
Example: Celebrating children’s month reminds us about the importance of children being the creators and shapers of a nation’s tomorrow.
19. an extended family
Meaning: a family group with many members, including parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins etc
Example: In the past, the extended family was a form of support when any members were ill or suffered some misfortune.
20. a nuclear family
Meaning: a family consisting of a father, mother and their children
Example: The nuclear family has replaced the extended family as the most common form of family structure throughout the world.
21. negative influences on individual families
Meaning: negative meaning bad; influences meaning effects; on individual families refers to each nuclear family – a couple and their children, rather than families in general;
Example: Based on the research, the negative influences on individual families could be lessened with more support from the government.”
22. parental involvement
Meaning: the act or process of parents when taking part in their children’s activities.
Example: Parental involvement allows parents to monitor school and classroom activities, and to coordinate their efforts with teachers to encourage acceptable classroom behavior and ensure that the child completes schoolwork
23. to dissolve a marriage
Meaning: to officially end a marriage
Example: Couples are sometimes unwilling to dissolve their marriage and they stay together for the sake of the children.
24. a dual-income family
Meaning: a family where both the father and mother work
Example: Changes in society have resulted in the dual-income family becoming the most common family type
25. to start a family later in life
Meaning:to begin a family later rather than earlier; in the past couples used to start their families at younger ages, like 22, 23 or 24; nowadays they are having babies, which is how you start a family, in their late 20s or even 30s and 40s;
Example: They decided to start a family later in life, preferring to work on their careers during their 20s and early 30s. They finally had their first baby when they were both 38 years old.
26. to support a family
Meaning: to have enough money to be able to look after a family
Example: Young people often delay marriage because they do not earn enough money to support a family.
27. to be overprotective
Meaning: to be too worried about the safety of someone, especially a child
Example: If parents are overprotective of their children, there is a danger that the children will become too dependent on their parents.
28. To bring up their offspring
Meaning: to bring up means to raise; this is what you do as a parent with your children; you educate them, nurture them, etc.; offspring refers to your children;
Example:They are bringing up their offspring in a very strict household
29. embarking on parenthood
Meaning: to embark on something means to start something; in this case it means to become a parent; parenthood is what you call the role of being a parent; you are always a parent once you have children, but this refers to the time you spend raising them; childhood is they time period when you were a child;
Example: They will be embarking on parenthood this summer, when their new baby is born.”
30. a family gathering
Meaning: a meeting of family members for a particular purpose
Example: In traditional societies, family gatherings are common to celebrate
special occasions.

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