Every now and then an eleven plus child may show signs of a supreme lack of interest in maintaining a high standard of work towards the examination. Some children, for example, are a little co-operative when their work is given by someone who is outside of the family circle.
Parents, however, do have a very powerful tool – they are on the spot hour after hour day after day. There is naturally no need to spend all twenty four hours on designing programs about and for the eleven plus. It can also soul destroying if parents have to think of ways to out manoeuvre signs of petulance or `boredom’. Parents have the ability to offer the invaluable one to one attention and support when it is called for and when it is needed.
Of course the great majority of parents will try to motivate their child without trying to put pressure on. It is possible, however, that at one time or another parents may be tempted into making some points rather forcefully.
“If you don’t complete the paper you can not expect a treat.”
“If you don’t pass you will have to go to that school down the road.”
“If you don’t do the work then I am going to be very angry.”
Sentiments borne out of frustration may work on a few occasions – but will possibly not be an effective tool if used on a long term or daily basis.
If may be a rather precious home if a parent did not feel the need, sometimes, to display a little well judged temper and frustration. The eleven plus, however, is not a sprint but a slog for some children.
If your child becomes angry and starts arguing it may be better to leave the battle for another day. At some stage reason will prevail and your child may even come to you and ask for a resumption of work.
When your child is dealing with the unknown it is possible for tension to rise remarkably quickly.
Try not to do individual questions – but act, when possible, as a sounding board for ideas. (On some questions this may give you enough time to work out the answer for yourself!)
When possible work on the principle of checking and double checking. Point out when progress is being made. Leave the `bad stuff’ for another day.