Parents often have to run a fine balance when they are working with their children towards the eleven plus. Some parents will feel that the eleven plus begins to play such a large part in the lives of the family that everything else has to be subordinated. At the one extreme the eleven plus candidate has to be fed and watered. Few parents of eleven plus children would mind about supplying basic food and water. At the other end of the scale parents can sometimes feel that their own spontaneous impulses and interests have to play second fiddle to the whims and wobbles of their much loved candidate.
The sheer drudgery of parts of eleven plus work can spread across the whole family.
Drudgery is different things to different members of the family.
The Eleven Plus child may feel that working on his or her own is drudgery. “Please can I do this later on? I really want to play with my friends today.”
The parents may feel that drudgery is cooking, cleaning and `waiting on’ the rest of the family. Drudgery can also mean the second job to pay the fees and the additional eleven plus expenses.
The family will find that eleven plus drudgery can not be eliminated – but it can be reduced. The eleven plus child can stop whining and get on with the work. Other children, when possible, can share the load of the various household tasks.
The family have to unite to try to build a common attitude towards the eleven plus. There will be areas where compromises will have to be made. Leisure time should not be neglected. If the family has the opportunity of going on holiday just before the eleven plus, for example, then the family should go. The eleven plus should not take over the whole family. It should be firmly relegated into its place.
A drudge is a person who has to do uninteresting work. It is to be hoped that no eleven plus child will ever feel that the work is drudgery. We can pray too that all concerned in the family approach the impending eleven plus with hope and fortitude.
We must sincerely hope that the young lady in the limerick that follows was not a victim of an eleven plus malady. Why not ask your child to explain it to you?
There was a young lady of Ryde,
Who ate some green apples and died.
The apples fermented
Inside the lamented,
And made cider inside her inside.