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Monday, November 12, 2007

Eleven Plus Mentors

Often when I am talking with parents and children about life, exams and `stuff’ in general we reach a point in the conversation where we need to find someone who can deliver the required message. Naturally thoughts turn to successful members of the family – an aunt who has done well academically – an uncle who is a `star’ or a grandparent who has continued to strive and develop.

“Why not arrange for your child and Aunt Alicia to have a little chat? See if Aunt Alicia can make the point that study needs to be disciplined. She may be able to suggest ways of working together – she may possible even take an interest and ask to have some regular contact.

Perhaps Uncle Kurt may be prepared to take your most loved offspring off to stock cars and then share his philosophy of life over a hot dog and a coke? (Better than a beer at the local!) Uncle Kurt may be able to expound the need to have a plan and strive for success. He may then even suggest ways to help your child develop a different type of relationship with you. (All your secrets exposed!)

This is called `mentoring’. Mentoring to your child can mean having someone he or she can trust and talk to informally. A mentor can offer dispassionate advice – but also warmth and interest.

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