Some children seem to be naturally cheerful. They seem to show a talent for making other people happy. Naturally this seems to make the child a little more interesting. As teachers or parents we are able to approach happy children more easily. These cheerful and happy children seem to be good children because they appear to be interested in others. We think that they must feel pressure as the eleven plus examinations approach – but we hope that they will simply ride the uncertainty and `breeze’ through the experience.
Some children, however, appear to be naturally rather timid and non-aggressive. These are the children who never want to harm anyone. They listen carefully to their teachers and parents and do their best to please. In the playground they will watch the games and activities and enjoy the pleasure and excitement that other children get from play time. They won’t join unless they are invited – and even then they would be more likely to offer a polite refusal. We need to get these children to talk about their feelings. We need these children to communicate.
Other children seem to be naturally anxious. They are fearful of making a mistake at school. They are worried that they are not pleasing their parents enough. The children are concerned that their friends will not like them. It is almost as if every new change of situation is accompanied by fear. It is not only manifested in fear of the dark and needing to sleep with a light on. As the eleven plus examinations grow closer we don’t want our children to feel even more anxious.
Parents, however, are not supposed to be good psychologists and good teachers all the time. They can simply do all they can to help their child to understand the relative importance of the eleven plus examinations. Not all children NEED to pass the examinations in order to be come good citizens and happy and successful adults. So if your child occasionally shows some timidity and anxiety all you can do is simply take it in your stride. Give backup and support – and hope it passes quickly.