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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Selective Listening

Occasionally we hear of children who wonder why they simply have to do so much work when they are preparing for the eleven plus. Sometimes a child may need to be reminded: “This is for your own good!”

Parents do not need to tolerate rudeness or apathy during a discussion over work. The child, however, may not be trying to be rude or apathetic – the lack of direction in the discussion may be due to other causes. Lack of sleep, feeling ill, bullying could all cause a normally pleasant child to react unfavourably when hearing the words `eleven plus’.

It is not worth trying to win every argument. If your child does not feel like work on one particular day it is simply not worth fighting over it.
Make a big effort to help your child know what is expected and planned during the `eleven plus study’ time. Write down the page number and the examples you want to be covered. Prepare a similar exercise for the next time that eleven plus work is scheduled. Spend a little extra time merging the two bits of work together. Your child may decide that in the end it is better to get the work out of the way.

Beware of unfulfilled promises. Ten year old children have extraordinary memories of promises and half promises. They may have difficulty in remembering that they promised to do the work – but will be able to recall every broken promise that you have made over the past ten years! It is much safer to use the standby of every parent: “We’ll see”.

Try to listen to your child. You may be hearing that they do are refusing to do any eleven plus work. They may actually be saying that they don’t mind doing eleven plus work – but they just do not want to do that particular piece of work on that particular day. Your child may have selective listening – but does not expect you to have a similar problem.

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