Long before any eleven plus parent sets off to engage in a dialogue with an eleven plus professional there is little doubt that many discussions and conversations will have taken place. Only a small element of the worries and concerns of many parents will ever be offered – because most concerns will be submerged. Very often family, friends and relatives will be consulted – and sometimes listened to. The professional help is often sought to confirm a diagnosis.
The professional’s conclusions are then relayed to the family who listen and then advise action. Sometimes a decision is made then and there – but a moment of reflection is often the most effective remedy. Parents will have a very different perspective on their children to that of teachers, tutors and consultants. Very few parents would argue that an outsider knew more about their child.
What makes a parent on a particular day to consider engaging the help of an outsider? A child may have been experiencing pre eleven plus problems for some time. Some parents will have played bringing their children up by a common sense set of rules. There will have been regular visits to dentists, opticians and possibly even doctors. There are the parents who may possibly have been present at open days at school, parent meetings, school plays and fetes. Some parents may even be able to say that they monitored their child’s homework rigorously – and were always available to give eleven plus help and advice.
When I was growing up our family doctor always used to say: “What makes you think you have a problem?” We were then expected to be able to diagnose out own symptoms – and even suggest some conclusions. In hind sight he may have worked on the premise that he felt that many illnesses were psychosomatic.
“What makes you think that you can not answer that eleven plus problem?”
No doubt our Latin teachers at school would have used the words: “Cura te ipsum.” This urges us to cure our selves before trying to treat others.
Ask your child to read the question again before asking for help.
Remind your child that he or she may have met a similar question previously.
Suggest to your child that he or she does not `get stuck’ on one question but moves on and then may choose to come back to that question later on.
Remind your child that you will not have a physical presence in the examination – but you will be there in spirit.
Ask your child if he or she really needs outside help or whether most of the eleven plus problems can be solved with the family circle.