What would your eleven plus child worry about during the eleven plus year? Towards `Results day’ the candidate’s fear would possibly turn to concerns about possible failure – but during the year?
Keeping and maintaining school friends.
Worrying if the friends are true friends.
How to make friends
Life at Home
Arguments with brothers and sisters
Arguments with parents – and between parents
Too much work
Not enough attention
Too little T.V. and computer games
Liking the teachers
Amount of work
Difficulty of the work
Challenge of Eleven Plus papers
Completing exercises on time
Concerns of parents
Pressure from outside
Passing the examination
Not passing the examination
Naturally some eleven plus children will be able to devise strategies to circumvent most of the fears mentioned above. There will even be some eleven plus children who have none of the above fears. These are the children who are able to view life with equanimity and confidence.
There may be some children who are doing remarkably well at school, with happy and stable backgrounds, who feel a little twinge of concern at the idea of not being successful and living up to expectations. We can’t ask children to banish all fears – after all we would still like our eleven plus child to be fearful of the consequences of crossing a busy road but we may not want a child to feel fearful about not achieving 80% on an eleven plus paper - as is a totally different type of fear.
Of course parents of eleven plus children will treat their child’s fears in many different ways. Some parents and children will be able to talk about everything. Other parent-child relationships may be a little more complex. Some children may find it difficult to communicate their fears to their parents. It does seem likely that talk and discussion may help. Perhaps a starting point could be to ask the eleven plus child to place each of the above lists into a `Fear Order. Then ask for an overall ranking. Both sides may, possibly, learn a little about each other.