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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Post Eleven Plus Blues

As the Eleven Plus examinations, for some children at least, grow closer some parents may need to be aware of a reaction that may come about after the last paper has been written.

The Comanche Indians used to live on a plateau for part of the year. This was a time of great hardship, where the tribe struggled for their existence – and the views of the elders were respected.

Later on in the year the tribe moved down to the plains – and the young men became the dominant force as they brought home the food.

In the whole society the son admired the father because of his ability to hunt and fight.

The father praised the son and took good care of him – because he knew that one day he too would be old and would need his son to look after him.

As the child moved towards being an adult –and indeed an `older’ man – there were periods when he was a vital part of the tribe. He needed to be a fierce warrior – and good a bringing home the food. Every one ran around him and looked after him.

It is a bit like this to some children after the Eleven Plus. In the days leading up the examination parents tip toe around their son – avoiding confrontation and lavishing lots of praise. (Building him up!)

During the examinations some parents may have to turn a blind eye to some behaviour as the stress of the tests may affect their child.

After the examination? Well anything can happen.

Some children will be `cool’ and move on.

Other children may worry.

Some children may react to the pressure being taken off.

Some may even find it difficult to find a balance in their lives without the concentrated work from papers.

Some parents may feel the need to sit down and have some `serious’ talks about the present and the future. Some parents will be well prepared – and others will have a more philosophical approach. There are no rules for parents to follow other than common sense.

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