Every parent knows the rich meaning behind the letters `PLMA’. This could be your child texting you asking for some space. The letters could also be used when you feel that an extortionate demand is being made. You could, of course, involve your child in an erudite discussion on the difference between `Leave me alone’ and `Let me alone’. Parents of eleven plus children should never miss an opportunity.
Leave implies going, departing.` Leave me alone’ suggests that you want to be left alone.
`Let me alone’ seems to mean stop bugging me, stop irritating me.
Every good parent, however, never knows when to stop. From the benign discussion on being left alone you could go on to discussion the role of particularistic judgements. These, as you well know, are the judgements according to the relationship with the person being judged or discussed. A parent will judge his or her child by the relationships in the family. A teacher may judge a child on the grounds of the ability to fit into an academic school.
We know that grammar schools accept children who pass an eleven plus examination. Children with poor social skills or the `wrong attitude’ to school and education may, sometimes, be judged as being unsatisfactory. A teacher in a primary school may be drawn to a bright child who is precocious – but too immature to cope with the strictures on an eleven plus examination. The child may prefer to be left alone rather than try to conform.
When your child insists: “Just, please let me alone!” take heart the letters `JPLMA’ does not mean that your child is judging you, or does not want to go to grammar school, the letters may simply mean that your child needs a bit of space.