Eleven Plus children learn about fairness on a day to day basis.
“Mother, please can we go swimming? We have not been swimming for a long time.”
“Certainly, dear, I would prefer to go the cinema because there is a film I would like to see – and I think the whole family, including you, would enjoy.”
This dialogue has a variety of out comes.
The child can promise not to do another bit of eleven plus work if swimming is adopted by the whole family.
The child can reserve judgement until the title of the film is announced.
The child can embrace the film scenario and endorse the concept willingly.
(Parents will, at this stage, want to add their own child’s dialogue.)
Mother: “Well don’t speak to me like that.”
Mother: “It is the one you have always wanted to see.”
Mother: “You are such a nice child. How accommodating. We will do everything we can to help you with your eleven plus work.”
In the whole two minute conversation some serious trading is taking places. Parents and `The Eleven Plus Child’ can reach agreement on a set of eleven plus rules which will run smoothly most of the time. Of course there will be limitations and restrictions but compromise should ensure that both parties feel that a satisfactory outcome has been achieved.
Mothers will probably deal the winning hand by suggesting that the family can enjoy both events. The agreement that is reached will cut arguments and possibly enhance the rewards – as both parties will feel victorious.
Most able children will readily accept turn taking – and will accept the basic rules of engagement. What some children feel passionately about is whether they have been fairly treated.
What adds to the richness of family life is the understanding that that are factors beyond the control of the parent and their child. What happens, for example, to the feelings of the rest of the family? Their reaction can not be guaranteed. What happens if the rest of the family unite to offer a third alternative?
The eleven plus conundrum can be described as a `dyad’. This is where parents are linked to their eleven plus child. In a pre eleven plus dyadic relationship both parties have to recognise that they are inextricably linked until after the examination.
“Lets agree to disagree, but lets work together.”