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Teenagers don't have the life experience or perspective to discern trouble the size of an iceberg from an ice cube. No wonder so many parents enjoyed the Hollywood version of Titanic they can identify with it ! The good news is that humankind can learn to avoid making mistakes from historical disasters. It is the same with dealing with teens. There is nothing better than educating and learning through experience. So here are my top five parenting lessons from the movie Titanic.

On 10 April 1912, the Titanic left England for New York on its maiden voyage. It was to be the safest ship ever built. Yet five days later, it lay in two at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with over 1500 people dead. In the movie, the disaster was the fault of lookouts who did not see the iceberg in time. But during the course of my research, another reason was traced to the officer-in-charge who actually had enough time to kill the engine and prevent the disaster. However, he thought he could save time by steering around the tip of the iceberg with the engines still running.

Many of the modern dangers our teenagers face are like icebergs. Teens think they know the risks of drinking, taking drugs, sex and violence. They believe they can steer round the risks and survive the challenges unharmed. However, they often fail to see dangers behind the negative pastimes ad may land themselves in real trouble. Part of our job, as a parent, is to teach them the real risks and slow down their engines.

In "Active Parenting of Teens", a parent education video, parents are taught how to be an effective provider of information. This means parents need to know what the real risks are and then communicate with them in a way that will be accepted. This means letting teens know you're concerned and not because you are judging them. Teens will not listen to your advice so until they know how much you care. Instead, let your words and attitude say: "I love you so much that it would break my heart if something bad happened to you." By doing so, you stand a good chance of being a positive influence on the decisions they make.

Just as it's important for you to teach your teens the risks of dabbling in negative pastimes, it is also crucial to discuss rescue plans for worst case scenarios. For instance, what should your daughter do if her date has been drinking and wants her to drive out with him for a burger ? Take time to talk to your teens about various situations and effective ways of handling them. Again, avoid sounding too judgmental if she disagrees with you. she may only see your wisdom in retrospect rather than during the discussion, which isn't a bad thing. The main goal is to start your teen thinking.

Teens need to be aware that what they see and hear in music, movies and television is not an accurate reflection of reality. Advertisements are designed to see things. Beer ads may feature happy and attractive men and women but we never see them binge drinking, dying from alcohol poisoning, or becoming alcoholics. Parents can help their teens see through the hype and make informed decisions.

The captain of the Titanic chose to steer his course at a disastrous price. Changing direction and cutting the engine was certainly a better option. But that's not to say that change is a sure way of preventing disasters. The teenage years are a time of experimenting and the need for adventure is high. We can help our teens find safe ways to explore new positive ventures through sports, outdoor activities ad special interests. You have other truths to teach your teens, truths that offer ballast on a stormy sea. You may need to change directions now and then or cut your engines when an iceberg appears. After all, we don't ant to repeat the mistakes of the Titanic.

From paragraph 3 :

(a) What misconception do teenagers have regarding drinking, taking drugs and sex ?

(b) What possible danger may this 'misconception' lead to ?


From paragraph 4 :


Describe how parents can 'stand a good chance' of making their teenaged children listen to them.

    From paragraph 5 :

In the sentence "it is crucial to discuss rescue plans for worst case scenarios ...",

(a) Explain what is meant by 'rescue plans'.

(b) Give one example of 'worst case scenarios'.

    From paragraph 6 :

(a) Explain what is meant by 'Advertisements are designed to see things'.

(b) How can parents help their teens to be aware of what they see or hear in advertisements ?

    From paragraph 7 :

We learn that parents need to help their teenaged children 'change directions'.

(a) When do they have to do so ?

(b) How can they help them make the change ?

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(a) They think they know what they are doing and they can survive whatever risks that they may face.

(b) This misconception may land the teenagers in some big trouble or danger.



They could do so by letting their children know how much they cared for them and then advising them the real risks they would be facing.



(a) It means 'solutions or ways of solving the risks one is facing'.

(b) It could be having to deal with a boy friend who is drunk but wants to take the girl out in his car.



(a) Advertisements are aimed at displaying the best side of things for us to see. We don't get to see the reality of things.

(b) They can tell their children that advertisements do not necessarily tell the truth and cannot be relied on always.



(a) They have to do so whenever their children seem to head towards danger or disaster.

(b) They can help them find safe ways like involving in activities like sports to satisfy their spirit of adventure.


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Comprehension 1


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