Should you allow your child to become stressed about the eleven plus? Are you sure that you should reiterate that: “It does not really matter.” Do you always try to smooth things over for your child and do your best to help your child avoid reality?
Does your child deliberately look for stress? Have there been signs of this from the beginning? Was your young child passive and inclined to sit sucking a thumb or was he or she active and enquiring? Does your child worry about `getting into trouble’ if he or she does not achieve good marks on a paper?
In adults we accept that stress is to be expected when moving house. Losing a job, losing money, losing friends and feeling a loser are all acceptable triggers for stress in adults. Job interviews, driving tests and mislaying car and house keys can all contribute to feeling stressed.
We are told that exercise helps. We are reminded that a counsellor can possibly help. Some adults try hypnotism and others suffer a diet of pins being stuck into key parts of the boy. Some possibly read the stars so see how they must react. Others may rely on their biorhythms.
How can you help your child? In theory your child may need good sleep patterns. We are told that 8 hours a day is needed. But what can you do if your bright, able and articulate child does not feel the need to sleep for eight hours a day?
Encourage your child to take breaks. What can you do if the five minute break turns into a fifteen minute argument about when to return to studies?
Ask your child to turn from `I can’t’ to `I can’.
Help your child to manage his or her time. Timetables, lists and action plans are all supposed to help – but not all children react well to being organised. You may have to play it by ear.
Lots of treats!
Lots of congratulations!
These two are possibly the vital ingredients in holding down stress levels.