It is unlikely to happen in any well ordered and stable eleven plus home – but faint symptoms may, very occasionally, become evident under duress. This is the plain and simple tantrum or hysterical outburst. A tantrum is easy to look at with interest as it is no more than a childish outburst of anger or frustration. Signs of hysteria are, however, possible a little more complex. Hysteria is sometimes thought to be psychological conflict being converted into a physical symptom.
If your two year old lies down in the middle of a supermarket and yells for a particularly delicious sweet then you have a range of options.
1. Give In
2. Swear to yourself that you will never ever take the little one shopping again.
3. Take the trolley and run, leaving your child to be comforted by someone else.
4. Resort to …..
If your nine year old lies down in the middle of a large bookshop and yells for more eleven plus papers then you also have a range of options.
1. Give in and allow your child to buy the papers.
2. Think seriously about your child’s attitude to the examination
3. Ask yourself – am I doing the right thing?
4. Say, sharply, “Stop being hysterical. Get off the floor and behave yourself.”
There may even be some parents who would love, at times, to lie down in the middle of a busy supermarket and bang their heels against the floor and wail loudly. Their children could then offer:
1. Oh dear. Mum is at it again.
2. No, you don’t need to worry, when she does this at home we just offer her a banana.
3. Oh come on mum. If you can’t do those verbal reasoning questions, it does not matter. Samuel’s mother can. Just ask her.
4. Mum. The eleven plus is some months away. Grow up. There may be no need for tears. I may pass.