Parents usually know very quickly when their children are feeling stressed. Of course the signs will change from situation to situation. A number of parents will probably try one or two methods of relieving stress. When a child is stressed, it is sometimes very difficult for any of us to feel anything other than concern.
Of course we need to try to convince the child to talk about his or her problems. Eleven plus children may be worried about passing the examination – or even coping with a single type of question. We sometimes see bright, alive and able children brought to their knees by some types of codes questions. The temptation is to rush in and try to explain how to do the questions. It is sometimes hard to try to give the child time to learn to solve the problem. Children can be taught strategies for relieving stress – and answering codes questions. Many mothers and fathers will swear by relaxation techniques. Even more will hope that their eleven plus child, by working through stressful eleven plus situations, will enjoy increased control and social skills.
Some very able children may be able to understand their coping strategies – and then go onto feeling that they can manage their emotions.
All concerned will, no doubt, hope that the potential of the actual examination will not become the cause of undue stress.
There is a rather revolting looking green drink that some parents may want to offer their children. It may be as well to prepare the drink in a darkened room and offer it to the stressed out eleven plus child under the cover of darkness.
Take 175 g of carrots
90 g of celery
100 g spinach
100 g lettuce
25 g parsley.
Mix the mash-up around. Ask your child to hold his or her nose. Offer a downright and unashamed bribe and provide moral support and emotional support.
“This is a well-known pre eleven plus drink. It will help you feel better about yourself. Come on dear, take a deep breath and drink it down in one go. If you like, we can add a spoonful of sugar.”
“Why do we add the sugar?”
“A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”