It is sometimes rather disturbing to hear an adult tell a child, who is about a take an examination, not to worry. Children do have worries. Very few of our Eleven Plus children will be able to approach the examination without some concerns.
Lots of children are told: “Don’t worry; you can only do your best.” It may be far more useful to the child to be given some help in controlling their worries.
Encourage the Eleven Plus child to talk about the worries that are `in the mind’.
Adults can’t brush the worries aside because they are very real to a child. We have to try to listen and understand.
Simply be aware of your child as the examination approaches. You will need to pay attention if anything out of the ordinary happens more regularly. If your child has the occasional headache, for example, then you will need to stay alert - but not over-react. If the headaches persist, or recur regularly, then you have had a warning sign.
One thing that we can be certain about is that too much of the same can lead to boredom. If you offer too many papers that are similar you could inadvertently be guiding your child towards switching off. If you go on and on about the virtues of passing the Eleven Plus then you could be triggering a worry attack.
Lots of friends, family, exercise and a healthy diet must help. Above all don’t demand that your child takes on your own concerns about the future.