Nearly all of us, teachers, parents and children alike, will experience varying degrees of eleven plus stress at one time or another. We know that some form of stress is usually beneficial – especially if the stress is controlled. We all, however, tend to think about the home as being a zone where people can live tranquil and relaxed lives. For some lucky parents this can be true. Others parents are aware that their eleven plus journey is bringing out emotions that are sometimes baffling and sometimes irritating. (Some children may even think fleetingly that their parents are sometimes baffling and irritating!)
This is where an eleven plus diary, which some parents seem to keep, can be a remarkably successful factor in monitoring stress levels. Other parents use social networking sites, forum and blogs to record their feelings and emotions.
Your Eleven Plus Stress Level Table could contain at least some of the following:
You are worried about the chances of your child passing the eleven plus- but you do not want to pass this fear onto your child.
You feel that you are failing your child because other children seem to be doing more or different eleven plus activities. (Commonly called, ‘Keeping Up With The Eleven Plus Joneses.’)
You find it hard to sleep at night because there are sections of eleven plus work which you find baffling. You are tempted to get up in the night and go over the eleven plus work you struggled with earlier in the day. You wake your partner at three in the morning to share your concerns.
You, sometimes, want to have a shouting match with your poor eleven plus candidate. You worry that if you do express your feelings about eleven plus work forcefully that your child will stop loving you.
You feel that your child never ever leaves you alone. No sooner do you take a few moments to do something for yourself but your eleven plus child appears to want some help.
You are offered lots of well meaning eleven plus advice – but none of it seems to fit your particular needs.
You feel that if your child does not pass the eleven plus that it will be your fault.
If you have all of these symptoms of stress then it is very likely that you are a perfectly normal eleven plus parent. You are doing well and your child is being given the best possible opportunities. If your child is not working hard enough – then say so. If he or she answers back then stand your corner. You are the top gun. You are the mother. You are the father. The eleven plus candidate is just your child. Without you, his or her chances of passing the eleven plus are minimal. Onwards and Upwards!