Some People Say That Parents Should Encourage

Some people say that parents should encourage their children to take part in organised group activities in their free time. Others say that it is important for children to learn how to occupy themselves on their own. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 12 General Training Test 7 Writing Task 2.

What Does “Occupy Themselves on Their Own” Mean?

The phrase definitely suggests that children should do things without any aid or interference from adults. We can’t get any clear idea from the phrase about how many children might be involved in their self-directed activities. It might be referring to one child playing by himself. It might also be referring to a group of children playing by themselves. Therefore, this writing task is not asking us to contrast group activities with solo activities but asking us to contrast organized activities with self-directed activities.

Sample Essay

There have been conflicting views on how children should spend their free time. While planned group activities build obedience and cooperation in children, I believe it is more important for them to practice entertaining themselves on their own because it helps them develop problem-solving skills.

On the one hand, organized group activities foster obedience and cooperation because they assign children a common goal, whether it is the harmony that a choir strives to achieve or the scores that a football team aims for. To accomplish their goal, children must work with each other and follow the instructions provided by a group leader. However, I think programming each minute of an activity doesn’t give children enough room to use their imagination and, therefore, stifles their creativity.

Those on the other side of the argument say that, by finding activities on their own, children can improve their ability to tackle problems. During boring times throughout the day, they learn to be creative and resourceful to discover methods to entertain themselves only when there isn’t any aid or interference from adults. For example, when feeling bored, a shy girl may become more social and go ahead and invite the neighbor kids over (“Neighbor” is an adjective here). I agree with this argument because problem-solving is a crucial life skill. As children grow up, they will encounter obstacles and have nobody but themselves to count on to get through such tough situations.

In conclusion, even though organized group activities help children become more obedient and cooperative, I believe self-directed activities bring the greater benefit of fostering problem-solving skills and should therefore be prioritized. (264 Words)

How to Vary Your Language

To occupy themselves on their own
  • To find activities on their own
  • To entertain themselves on their own
  • Self-directed activities
Organized group activities
  • Planned group activities

4 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. “Many Teenagers now have their own smartphone. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion. Mam, in this question, where should I have to put my opinion?

    1. The question you posted is not even grammatical. I think it’s more likely to be just “what are the advantages and disadvantages of this”. When giving your opinion, you can say that I believe the main benefits are…and…, while the major drawbacks are…and… And, of course, you give your opinion in the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.

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