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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pressure! Pressure!

Suppose you wanted to try to help your child to become a world famous sports person. You would need to go through certain checks.

You would need to find out if your child was bright enough to be able to cope with a range of verbal instructions. (You probably have a very good idea yourself!)

You may choose to ask your child to try some preliminary checks.

One check could be to lift some weights. These would need to be child friendly weights – but some children would be able to lift heavier weights than others.

Another check could be to ask your child to hold his or her breath for a long time.

A different check would be to run a hundred yard dash.

So now we have four different measurements that we can evaluate. The test score could be the combination of all four scores.

It would not help to have a high or a low score unless you could compare the results with those of other children across the county. You may decide to try to help your child to prepare for the tests.

You could feed your child on fish and carrots to help the brain. You could purchase a set of weights and establish them up in the living room. You could ensure that your child takes three baths a day and holds his or her under the water for longer and longer periods. Finally you could encourage your child to run round and round the house to build speed and stamina.

You then hear on the news that all children in the whole county are to be given extra help with breathing. You go out and buy a bigger bath and a larger underwater stop watch. After all you want your child to be able to see and feel what is happening under water.

Eighty five parents protest because the water has overflowed the edge of the bath. The breathing test is suspended by the county pending a review. You continue because you are sure that your child is good at holding his or her breath – and anyway while he or she is under water there is no `talk back’.

You hear of a special high altitude athletic camp to be held over the summer holidays. This will help breathing, running and weights. Sadly the camp does not cater for intelligence. You wish there was another way of measuring intelligence.

Your child’s school teacher will not say if your child will pass the county wide test. The school does not do extra breathing exercises. Your best friend says that your child is sure to pass.

You just wish it was all over.

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