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Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Eleven Plus Conundrum

How likely is that some eleven plus children will land up with a work or examination related neuroses? It is not hard to imagine that intense pressure from a very small minority of parents could press their child to build negative feelings about the examination.

Neuroses about the eleven plus could develop from a number of sources:

Hostile teachers or parents

Unsympathetic teachers or parents

Unfair treatment (as perceived by the child)

School phobia

Work phobia

Eleven Plus phobia

I have just been working with a number of fantastic and highly able eleven plus children. Not one of them showed any evidence neuroses or phobia. That is not to say that the state of mind does not exist – but I saw remarkably little evidence. Most children appeared to revel in the quality and quantity of the work they did.

How can parents avoid building an inadvertent neurosis?

Demonstrate empathy and consideration

Prove over and over again that judgement has been suspended during the approach to the eleven plus

Listen to the side of the child. There may be a legitimate reason for only achieving 93%!

Enjoy the moment. You may never again have as close a working relationship. Some rather strangely phrased questions can bring the family together – even if all disagree.

Anyway the old saying is:

There is no such thing as problem children, only problem parents. You would need to look back to your own parents for an answer to this conundrum.

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