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Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Eleven Plus and Parent Philosophy

Do you remember the debate about the refrigerator and the hot house when you were reading philosophy for fun in your early twenties? You will no doubt recall discussions about what is right and what is wrong.

“Let us suppose that two people, who have just entered a room, are asked to guess its temperature. The one from the refrigerator could guess 75 degrees F., and the other person, from the hot house, may say 70 degrees.”

It is possible that subjective conditioning may have determined the guess about the temperature of the room. The person leaving the cold room may find the room warmer than the person leaving the hot house.

It is likely that someone said, “We can use a thermometer to establish the facts of the case. It won’t take long to work out who was right.”

What happens if your eleven plus child decides to have a little `eleven plus argument’ with you? An `eleven plus argument’ is the equivalent of a thermometer. You have right on your side. You know that any `eleven plus argument’ must end in your favour. Whatever points your child may make will be wrong.

Time to go to bed? Your child is wrong.

Complete the paper before watching T.V.? Your child is wrong.

Argue about when to work? Your child is wrong.

An eleven plus argument is about what is right and what a parent thinks is right. If a parent thinks that he or she is right then the argument is to all intents and purposes over. It does not matter how hot or cold the eleven plus child blows – or how the temperature in the room rises or falls – the argument is over. There can only be one person in charge.

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