In dance there is the step that is called `The Cuddle’. We see `The Cuddle’ in the street, on the beach, in airport lounges and motorway service stations. `The Cuddle’ is also offered on rugby and football fields, at netball matches and after a sky dive. Mother cats and kittens do it too.
There are some basic steps that are probably common to most situations - be it from a couple dancing together to a sedate kiss on the balcony (watched by millions).
A Dance Cuddle
Start by facing each other and holding hands. On the first beat shift the weight to the right and then the left respectively. The man lifts his right arm leading the woman behind him.
On the next beat, as the weight is transferred to the other foot, the woman steps behind the man who brings his right arm across the left – with the woman’s arm passing over his head.
The next beat carries the woman round behind the man. He faces the front and the couple hold hands with the man’s hands crossed. His left arm is held at waist level while his right is at shoulder level.
On the next beat the man turns away – and the woman follows him.
The man and woman can then continue to circle as long as they feel like it. To end the move the man raises his right arm, the woman lets go and she steps around to the front. The couple can now join hands. (Some cuddles, especially by foreign footballers, are followed by a kiss.)
When to Offer a Cuddle
When could you offer your eleven plus child a cuddle? If you asked your child to read the instructions on `How to Cuddle’ and then apply the instructions – then you would be able to determine just how well your child could follow a familiar sequence – but phrased in unfamiliar language and terms.
We all seem to work on the principal that a reward with a small or a small token for good behaviour is more effective as a motivator of self control than is punishment. But how then do you explain that it is the behaviour not the child that is receiving praise? A smile could mean a reward for the behaviour – but a cuddle confirms that the child is the recipient.
When parents do need to admonish their child over an eleven plus transgression it may sometimes be very difficult to remain objective and calm. The trick is not to allow the ten year old child to feel resentful or to hold a grudge. A loss of prestige may encourage some ten year olds to put up a barrier that could act as a deterrent. It is remarkably hard to continue to feel resentment whilst experiencing a cuddle.
The Eleven Plus Cuddle
Mum grabs the candidate by both hands. She whips her hand over her child’s head. The child does not have time to resist. (If no one else is nearby – when you are nine or ten it matters!). Mum pulls hard, child is happy, mum unwinds, both smile. Job done!