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Describe someone you know who is a single parent

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 211 with Model Answer:

Describe someone you know who is a single parent.

You should say:
  • who is he/she
  • what s/he does
  • how s/he takes care of his/her child
and explain what difficulties you think s/he faces as a single parent.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Family, undoubtedly, is the most important aspect of our lives and people do everything for their families. But sometimes, they families get broken or do not start in a conventional way and the remaining members, especially the parents, are to lead a single life. I know, Augustine, a single mother living in my neighbourhood.

Augustine lives with her son in a small rented apartment just opposite to my apartment building. I know her as I have to communicate with her regularly as her son and my daughters are in the same elementary school here in Paris. Augustine has got split with her husband around two years ago. Her husband, used to do nothing for living rather relying on Augustine. They had quarrels several times over the issue. She took measures to make her husband active but everything was in vain. The man did not do anything and at the same time, Augustine got pregnant. Since she had no other ways left, she started a small job amid her pregnancy. Despite such pathetic situation, her husband had no willingness to start working for a living. So, she got divorced from her husband.

Augustine, now, is a school teacher. She teaches in a local secondary school. Besides, she also plays the role of mentor in different courses, especially she teaches French and German languages in a language club in Paris. She earns sufficiently and spends almost all the bucks for her baby boy. She takes classes when her boy is in the school but when she takes classes in the evening, for the language courses, she keeps her boy under my guardianship. The little boy plays with my daughter. Both of them have developed a good friendship. The two are in the same class and sometimes I help them to perform their home works and other assignments. When Augustine returns from her work, I talk to her sometimes about her day. She is like an intimate friend of mine, especially my husband is sympathetic to her for her bad luck. Though I suggested her to get married again, she declined to get engaged again. In fact, she is enjoying this part of her life.

Though reluctant to get married again, she takes care of her son perfectly. Once I asked her about the care of the boy and she explained every issue to me. Even she is ready to die for her boy. She lives in a moderate apartment here and she could easily leave the residence to save money. But she thinks that her son has been born there and she plans to stay in the same building as long as she can. Besides, the expenses for the school are large as the school is one of the most reputed elementary school in the city. She is meeting all the needs of the boy. She is working twice in a day for her boy. Firstly she teaches in a school in the morning hours and in the evening she attends the language club for mentoring. So, she earns a handsome amount but she spends all of her earnings for the boy. She also mentioned that she is saving a share from her entire earning for the future of her boy. In fact, she is performing all the tasks as much possible for her.

Being a single parent is a highly troublesome task. If both the husband and wife live under a single shade, they could share all the necessary activities. Usually, men are engaged in wage-earning while the women are the homemakers. But when a part of the bonding is missing, I mean if the husband or wife gets split, life becomes difficult. As human beings, we cannot live alone. Hence the family arrived as an institution to live together. All the family members should work together to make the family run. But when there is a single parent, s/he is to do everything which seems impossible for a single individual to perform. Now Augustine is to look after her boy, earn her livelihood and maintain the society all by herself and often she is unable to balance among the other things. It becomes difficult for her to maintain everything smoothly and if she had her partner, life would have been easier for her, I guess.

Sample Answer 2:
David Jones is a single parent. He lives with his son in a small apartment beside mine. He is living as a single parent for last few years and did not get married after the death of his wife. Thank you for the question and I will answer it in brief here.

Jones is a freelance photojournalist. He had a happy family. But the family broke after the death of Samantha, his wife whom he loved most. In fact, Jones was very happy with his son and wife but a sudden road accident snatched the peaceful environment of the family. Since then, he is living as a single parent and his parenting to his son is really adorable.

David Jones is a familiar name to newspaper and magazine editors. He plays an important role in the publication of daily newspapers and magazines. They get exclusive pictures from him. Sometimes, he is ordered to capture some photos which will be used in magazine covers. He becomes happy when any of his photos are used on the front page of any newspaper. Jones also organised several photo exhibitions with his own photos and won numerous awards for his special clicks. As a photographer, he belongs to the top class. And remains busy round the week to cover various events and functions.

Despite his thousands of business, he takes a good care of his child. Every morning, he takes his boy to school. Before taking to school, he prepares the boy of five years old boy. It is really difficult to prepare a little boy for school. Moreover, he makes a phone call to the school authority about the latest updates of the boy. When it is an exam, he helps the boy in preparing all the lessons. Feeding the baby is a trouble for him. Actually, babies of this age do not prefer to have foods frequently. So, he often needs to struggle to feed his boy. During the weekends, Jones takes his boy for an outing with him and teaches photography too.

Respecting the memories of his wife Jones is determined not to marry again. But as a single parent, he is under some difficulties. He is having the usual problems. There is none to look after the boy for round the hours in a day. It is a matter of worry for Jones. Besides, he often fails to concentrate on his photography if the boy is unattended at home when he is out. Sometimes, I try to keep the boy at my place and play with my children, but this is not enough I think. The boy is also devoid of motherly affection which Jones cannot provide though tries his best. I wish the boy could be matured soon so that Jones need not worry about him.

More Ideas for this cue card topic:

At present, the number of single-parent families is on the rise. This particular cue card wants to know about a single parent from the candidate. Here are some additional hints for them to deal with the cue card smoothly.

1. Georgina is a single parent. She lives with her little daughter in the lane I live in Paris. She works for a departmental store and her life is really struggling. Her former husband left her when she was pregnant with some petty issues. Since then, she is leading a solo life. Her daughter came to the earth and her struggles are on.

2. Niro is a single parent. He lives with his three-year-old son in the opposite apartment of mine. He is a voice artist and works at a local media house here in the Netherlands. He lost the wife in a car accident two years ago. He did not get married again and determined to remain single until the last day of his life.

3. My meeting with Samantha was interesting. Later, I came to know that she was a single mother. She lost her husband in an aeroplane crash near Uruguay last year. She has been leading a life of struggle. Parenting is difficult for her but her strong will and perseverance has made the impossible to possible.

4. The number of the single parents is on the rise in the UK and I met with Robert at my daughter’s school. He is a single parent and lives on the same block of mine in London. His wife Barbara left him for some unknown reasons. He is single but planning to get married soon to take care of his son. He is a businessman and so unable to manage time for his child.

5. Mr Simpson is a single parent. He has two children living with him. He is almost 40 and works for the government. He has been playing the role of parents for his children for past 10 years. His beloved wife became mentally ill and now lives in a sanatorium. In fact, she is of no use to the family now.

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