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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Solving Problems

When you selling your house you are advised to take on professional advisors. It could be, for example, your accountant to check that you presenting your income correctly. You could also telephone your solicitor about the progress of the sale. The estate agents too are acting professionally on your behalf. While you may rail at times about the unfairness or the iniquities of the system it is the system that exist at the time.

I wonder how often parents are tempted to phone the professional when it is something they can actually do themselves.

Helping a child with 11+ work is, however, very different from selling a house. Both events are probably equally stressful. Selling a house, for example, could involve a chain and with this in place unfair events could happen that are beyond your powers to influence.

The frustration that your child feels when your explanation is not absorbed immediately could sometimes be demonstrated in a slightly pouting lip. Your frustration is also manifest when you have just delivered a perfectly logical and reasoned answer for it to be rejected by a sullenly muttered: `I still don’t understand.’ It is very difficult for you to pick yourself up, smile sweetly and try again.

So before you telephone for professional help think back to when you were able to out think and out wit your child. Do you remember the time in the supermarket when your two year old lay full length on the floor because you had offered a carrot in exchange for a shiny packet of sweets? What did you do? You know you could not get angry - that only would make the matter worse. You could not forcibly remove the sweets from the little one’s hand because that would have brought shrieks of disgust. You were fearful too that you would incur the cumulative censure of the surrounding shoppers.

Do you remember how you distracted your little one? Can you recall how you murmured loving words and offered grateful thanks? Surely that feeling of relief as the onlookers faded away is still engraved on your heart.

When you had your problem with your house you did not telephone the professional. You talked about what you should do. When your two year old decided to express his or her personality you did not call a professional. You talked about what you should do. When your 11+ explanation is rejected - however unfairly - you should simply talk it through.

Keep your cool. Do your thing. Enjoy your child. Do not pick a fight. You know that in time you will solve the problem. Have faith in yourself. Believe in yourself. (Remember that if all else fails bribery usually works with a ten year old.)

After all if you can sell a house and raise a child from two years old to ten years old you will, in time, solve any eleven plus problem.

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