It would be very easy to dream of your child falling asleep – and then waking up full of eleven plus facts and opinions. You stride confidently into your child’s bedroom – offer a loving kiss and leave secure in the knowledge that your child will assimilate eleven plus knowledge and technique during a deep refreshing sleep. I am sure parents would pay good money for a service of this nature.
We need to go back to Mesmer (1733 – 1815) who was known as a saint to some and a sinner to others. He dealt with incurable cases – and was loathed by many other physicians. He created an attitude in the patient towards the `problem’. This developed into a crises – along with twitching muscles and a trance. After this had passed the patient would feel weak and lethargic – but the odds were on that the illness or malady had disappeared.
Later in his professional life he accidentally came upon the sleep like state – which we call hypnosis today.
He also developed a different technique. (This could, possibly, be adopted on eleven plus courses – if parents and children gave permission.) He filled a large tub with magnetised filings. The tub had around thirty projecting handles – so 30 different problems could be serviced at the same time.
Just picture the scene. 30 eleven plus children enter a large, warm tub carrying verbal reasoning books. The children hold the rods; they close their eyes and on command lift their verbal reasoning books to the heavens. They rub their bodies with the iron filings. The energy flows and eleven plus knowledge enters their bodies.
This view of an easy passage for children towards the eleven plus will be greeted, no doubt, by scepticism and suspicion by doctors, teachers, scientists, parents and general public.
Doctors will feel that the tub suggestion is frivolous.
Teachers will laugh at the idea of an easy short cut in education.
Scientists will demand proof.
Parents will hope that immersion in a tub of iron filings will not he harmful – but will be pleased to try anything as long as it helps.
The general public will simply groan and say, “It was not like this in my day!”
A large number of us regard hypnotism with a combination of smiling apprehension – along with an almost mystical belief that `there might be something in it’
But parents can cast their minds back. Do you remember the colicky baby who cried and cried? What did you do? Of course you soothed your child by rubbing circles on your child’s back while murmuring quietly. No rods. No iron filings. Nothing mystic – just plain common sense.
So when your child looks out of sorts with the eleven plus you could do worse than revert to those early days.
Take your eleven plus candidate, including the verbal reasoning book, into your arms. Give several soothing pats and say: `There, there. There, there.’ (The incantation!) Suggest a hot warm bath with lots of bubbles. Offer the comfort of a hot water bottle, along with a medicinal cup of cocoa.
When you come to think of it your loving offering is not much different from the hot tub suggested by Mesmer. Parents know just how good for the body and soul the hot tub is!