Some eleven plus children need to embrace change. Working towards the eleven plus examination will mean changes to their lives. Some may need to adjust to working to a schedule. Others very bright children may need to do some real academic work for the first time in their lives. There could even be a group of children who, although they are doing very well at school, are challenged by the complexity and the range of eleven plus work.
Listening to some eleven plus children it almost seems as if they don’t understand that targeted work will help to give them a better opportunity. There are even a few who appear to think that resentment is a necessary price before change and improvement takes place. Some children will not try to be negative but if there appears to be a hint of criticism then the emotions can become turbulent.
When things go wrong in the adult world there are various mechanisms to help mediate and give advice. Some adults may feel the need to turn to Samaritans, others to the Citizens Advice Bureau – while others will need to engage professional negotiators – witness how strikes are handled.
The eleven plus child does not have access to a professional body. The `sometimes grumpy little face’ may feel that there is no one to turn to. But parents must have non arbitrational rights. No child can be allowed to breach health and safety. No child needs to be rude and offhand. No child needs to be disagreeable. Eleven plus children probably want to be treated in a right and fair manner. Many will want to voice their thoughts – which can be useful - unless it goes on and on!
In the world of business people usually try to effect change when the business is expanding. The expansion helps the business to be able to move people to different jobs without losing their seniority or suffer pay cuts. The eleven plus child does not have this luxury.
If agreement can not be reached within the immediate family then any unresolved disputes may need to be submitted to arbitration. The arbitrator could be a much loved grandparent, or an aunt or uncle. Sometimes an older brother or sister could help immensely.
Imagine the pride of Grandmother Molly. Her new family title:
Grandmother Molly – The Eleven Plus Arbitrator.