A few eleven plus parents will be considering New Year Resolutions for the family. The word `resolve’ has many meanings – and this is why a New Year Resolution is so attractive. If we go back to the Latin learnt at school - the word `solvo’ must immediately spring to mind. (In some parts of the Eleven Plus we are sometimes asked to pick out words within words.) Solvo comes from a familiar declension along the lines of: solvo, solvi, solutum and solvere. The word, in those days, meant to loosen, pay or dissolve.
It is for this reason that some eleven plus parents welcome the idea of resolutions - because they are not designed to hamper us – or punish us with draconian rules or edicts – a good resolution is supposed to loosen or dissolve the problems. In simple terms, and by definition, a resolution `sorts the problem out’.
We will set up a motivational scheme for the family, and for our eleven plus candidate.
We will work on more joint problem solving – and less of rule by `I told you so’.
We will attempt to show more understanding and involvement.
We will design posters, adverts and leaflets to leave around the house intended to be available if s problem should strike.
We will establish an eleven plus honour board – adorned with pennants, titles and citations.
We will engage the wider family so that our candidate’s hard work is recognised on a broader stage.
We will accept that some ideas we had rejected earlier may actually be useful – and that we should listen a little more acutely.
Finally, we should accept that simple intangibles may give our eleven plus child the greatest feeling of security and purpose.