“The eleven plus is not in his personality.” This could be familiar refrain in the minds of some parents. Why does this bright and able, intelligent and warm’ child who is always kind and thoughtful struggle with these confounded eleven plus papers? Why does his behaviour deteriorate so much when he is confronted by a paper? We never had problem with him learning to read, his swimming teacher said he was a star and he learnt to ride a bike at phenomenally young age. Why?
There are a number of points of view when looking at personality.
The ten year old child’s personality is defined by behaviour. This, however, is only true if the child’s eleven plus intentions are the same as those of his or her parents.
The eleven plus child’s personality is demonstrated in the different roles he or she is able to play – the serious student, the likeable dilatant. Of course the attitude of the parents may have a part to play. Parents who are too anxious may not achieve the results they want. Conversely the laid back parents who allow a state of near anarchy may also not allow their child to achieve his or her potential.
Finally, but probably not exclusively, the personality of the eleven plus child is, to a degree, rather a matter of a ménage of subjective concepts. This means, in part, how the child views himself or herself and how the same child views the immediate environment. If mum and dad expect an eleven plus pass – and this is based on sound suppositions – then the eleven plus may well be within the `personality’ of the eleven plus child.
Parents will be very aware that their child’s personality can be as variable and changeable as the wind on a wind farm. We can just hope that the eleven plus wind blows strong and steady towards the examinations.