There is a difference between `Eleven Plus Fears’ and `Eleven Plus Anxiety’.
Fears are a state of apprehension which focus on isolated and recognisable danger.
Anxiety is to do with different states of tension – which can magnify and appear to cause the illusion of danger.
In today’s world a banker may fear that he will lose his bonus. The idea of having to live on a salary may, however, cause considerable anxiety.
Franklin D. Roosevelt made a simple but magical statement: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”.
He was not talking about the fear of danger – but about the anxiety that was besetting the United States back in the 1920s with the source of money drying up and job losses. History does tend to appear to repeat itself!
In very young children, however, fear and anxiety may seem to be almost indistinguishable. By the time the child reaches the Eleven Plus stage, however, it is hoped that we can call some of the apparent fears under a different name – `Eleven Plus Anxiety’. An eleven plus child may then fear that there will be questions that can not be answered – but will be anxious about the outcome of the examination.
A parent’s role is then to try to remove as much fear as possible – and also to try to reduce as much anxiety as possible.