Speed Reading — Having Children - Level 6 — 500 wpm 

Now do this put-the-text-back-together activity.

This is the text (if you need help).

Many of us believe that having children is the key to happiness and a perfect family life. Naturally, this idealistic image is true for some, but researchers say that in reality, children make us happiest when they fly the nest - when they have grown up and left home. Researchers in Germany looked at data from a survey of 55,000 over 50-year-olds living in Europe. The survey respondents were quizzed about their emotional wellbeing. The researchers discovered that most parents were happier with life after their offspring had left home and started making their own way in life. Researchers say this could be because raising children creates financial worry, stress, fatigue and anxiety.

The research was led by Christoph Becker at Heidelberg University. He concluded that a big reason for parents being happiest when their children leave home is that the tables are turned and the children provide more support to their parents. He said parents whose children no longer live with them suffer from fewer symptoms of depression and have a more positive outlook on life. Regarding the role reversal in providing support, Mr Becker said: "Children's roles as caregivers, providers of financial support or simply as a means of social contact might outweigh the negative aspects of parenthood." He added that maintaining family relationships may stave off loneliness in ageing parents.

Comprehension questions
  1. What do many people believe is the key to happiness?
  2. What do children fly when they leave home?
  3. How many people answered a survey?
  4. What were survey respondents asked about?
  5. What kind of worry did the article say parenthood created?
  6. What university conducted this research?
  7. What did the article say gets turned when children leave home?
  8. What do parents suffer from less when children leave home?
  9. What might children providing care outweigh?
  10. What might stave off loneliness in ageing parents?

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