It is immediately obvious to any self respecting Eleven Plus parent that their child could never do enough wrong to warrant a reprimand. Of course parents are able to observe the relationship between other Eleven Plus parents and their offspring. Parents deal with misdemeanours in different ways.
Picture the setting. A mother organises a birthday party for eight at the cinema. (This is the weekend just before the Eleven Plus examination.) A meal at a smart restaurant is part of the treat. The eleven year old children will order for themselves – but the birthday mum will pick up the tag. Parents, mothers and fathers, are seated in a different restaurant – but within visual contact. One child plays up. All eyes look directly at the poor mother – or stare studiously in the future. Silence reigns.
All eight mothers would have different strategies for dealing with misbehaviour:
“Stop that or I will remove you from the meal – and you will not attend the cinema treat.”
“Oh dear, Jimmy is at it again. I told him not to eat our hamster before we came out.”
“If you do that again, you will have to go home.”
“Jimmy, dear, please leave that `kind waiter’ alone. When he returns, treat him nicely like the sweet boy you really are.”
Mum shakes her head and frowns.
Mum collects the misbehaving child without a word, and moves him to a spare seat.
The child is ejected by the hostess, and the mother takes her unruly son hone following an apology by the mother.
Mum says: “When we get home, you will do an Eleven Plus paper and will achieve full marks in no more than fifty minutes. Or else!
All the other mums, and the other children, will be pleased and impressed if the situation is dealt with calmly. Every `good’ mother will know that idle threats are pointless. In any case the last thing any one wants is any degree of upset just before the examinations.
(P.S. The film was great, the food was good and in the end there was no more confrontation. Every cloud, just before the examinations, has to have a silver lining.)