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Monday, May 12, 2008

Eleven PLus Imitation

We often hear the words: “He walks just like his father.”

Picture the scene. The family is walking down to the beach. All the family are carrying light ruck sacks. The sun is shining. There is a light breeze. The family are trudging through the dunes. Dad is in front. He is leaning slightly forward while his arms are behind his back. The favoured `Eleven Plus’ son is walking behind his father. “Like father, like son.” The son is also leaning forward, with his hands behind his back.

We expect a child to learn from parents. Parents with lots of book in the house are more likely to develop a child who loves reading – but this is not always the case. Some mothers will report that they never read unless they are on holiday. “I am just too busy to read.” Some children don’t like the idea of reading when they are on holiday.

We often reward children for imitating good behaviour. We are much less sympathetic with less fortunate children who do not have good role models. A teacher would be able to describe a good class at school as a group of children who all follow the class leader and try to produce good work.

We don’t expect adults to imitate their contemporaries. We expect an adult to be self reliant and demonstrate independent judgement. Some of our Eleven Plus children have the ability to think for themselves. Some would be genuinely surprised to hear that they walked in a similar fashion to their father.

If you want your child to be independent – then allow some freedom.

If you want your child to read – then ….

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