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Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Fear of Failure

A large number of our eleven plus children will be writing their examination next weekend. Some of them will be concerned about the consequences of failing. We all remember the story about the youngster approaching the examinations saying in a worried tone of voice, “I think I’m going to fail, I think I’m going to fail.”

Her mother tried to cheer her up by advising her to think positively.

“I will fail,” she responded.

This is simply not the moment to tell your child just how great they are or how they are certain to pass.

* Build your child up a lot more thoughtfully.
* Concentrate on the journey your child and the whole family have undertaken.
* Go through the progress that has been made.
* Bring out the more successful elements.
* Talk about the verbal reasoning problems that you solved together.
* Reminisce about the mathematics topics that everyone found hard to start with.
* Mention the good things your child’s teacher has said.
* Go for a long walk together and talk naturally about a wide range of familiar topics.
* Think carefully about food and what is being eaten.
* Discuss how hard it is for some people to accept a compliment.
* Maintain a steady routine.
* Ask a relation in to `have a chat’.

Above all explain that it is all right to fail sometimes. Bring out the point that no one `gets it right' every time.

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