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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:58 pm 
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DD sits the Glos. 11+ in 5 weeks time. She is doing well in practice papers, but not outstandingly. Glos. grammar schools are very hard to get in to - the one we want is anyway.

Although we are keeping up the pace with the practice at the moment, I am very aware that confidence and no pressure on the day are going to be crucial to her performance. There is only one exam for all the schools in this area so no second chances. DD really wants to go to grammar school and is very aware that this exam decides the next 5 years schooling for her. :( . We have told her it doesn't matter if she doesn't get in and how good the comprehensive options are.

My problem is this - I don't know exactly what I should be saying to her to encourage her at this point. She keeps asking me if I think she will pass. Should I be saying Yes - or is that setting her up for major disappointment if she doesn't? I obviously don't want to say No, and saying 'I'm sure you'll do your best," or "I think you deserve to pass" seems to me to suggest I don't think she'll manage it.

What is everyone else telling their DC? I just want to get the balance right so that DD feels confident on the day, but not devastated if she doesn't pass.

No longer mind (much) whether she passes or not, just worried about her mental health by the end of all this :(

Pixiequeen


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:08 pm 
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At this stage I would say "yes I'm sure you will pass" .... don't let her get any doubt now.

After the exam (and before the results) you can subtley change it to ... "I know you have done your best", "I am certain you deserve to pass".......


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
pixiequeen wrote:
What is everyone else telling their DC?


Thats she can reach for the stars and nothing is impossible. I keep a record of her scores and shows her where she started and where she is now. Right now all I tell her is that I am 100% confident that she can do it and let her 100% believe it. I tell her the road will be bumpy (when scores dip) but that she shouldnt be discouraged and use her mistakes to improve. I have some people I admire like Thomas Edsons and Barack Obama that I have books about them and I have used them as examples on how to overcome failure and reach for the impossible.

We never talk about her failing at this stage. After the exam is over I will talk to her about the other options. Give her a treat for trying and doing her best and tell her the results will not be a reflection of her ability but just how things went on the day and whatever outcome she will have done her best and that will carry her through life.

_________________
Impossible is Nothing.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:21 pm 
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Thank you both, Herman and Sherry. I'm sure you are right. I will put my positive head on and go all out to fill DD with confidence, and save my 'softening the blow' approach for after the exam.

Pixiequeen


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:45 pm 
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PLEASE don;t give ther the impression that you're sure she'll pass - children don't forget and if things don't go well she will either feel that she's let you down or that you;ve let her down.

Tell her that there a lot of children trying for a very few places and that most are inevitably not going to make it. Tell her that she should try her best, but it's not her fault if she doesn't pass - it was just that there were so many trying that most won't make it. And tell her that whatever happens she'll be fine - thre are loads of good schools and she'll go to one and be happy and successful what ever happens.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:13 pm 
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Well i must say i kept it very positive before the exams - after i went down the "not everyone is lucky enough to pass" route, and we had an excellent school to try for if she didnt pass so i talked about the positives there too. But i certainly wanted her to have confidence in her ability before the exam :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Interesting to hear a range of views, as always it depends on the child.

Has made me think about what I have been saying to DS2. I seem to be in the middle with words of encouragement along the lines of,

Quote:
You are doing really well and have a great chance but it is very competitive.

It is a bit of a lottery, but the more tickets you buy the better your chance, more work is like more tickets.

The alternative school is locally outstanding but the target school is nationally outstanding.

I am very pleased and proud of all the work you have done, you have made huge progress.

On the day it is three papers so a bit of a marathon, keep going.

The reward (present) before the exam is for all the hard work you’ve put in.

It might seem strange but the test day is exciting and fun so enjoy it but focus and work hard.

If it seems tough on the day everyone will find it hard, just keep going.


But that all relates to my special DS2. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:19 am 
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This is definitely the hardest part of the whole 11+. It's a very fine balance between optimism and realism. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:19 am 
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Thank you everyone for your comments. Katel - I take your point - that is something I very much want to avoid.

Thank you Stevew61 - Good to hear what other parents are actually saying. Perhaps I will stick with "I know you are clever enough to pass and you've worked really hard," tempered with "If you don't get a place, it won't be your fault" and "There are lots of children chasing only a few places."

Perhaps I will also do as Sherry suggests and show DD how much her marks have improved since we started. Our particular hurdle at the moment is that DD is trying to go too fast because she's trying to improve her timing and every so often her mind goes completely blank because she panics. I hope lots of praise, no timing for the moment, and the confidence to slow down will help.

I almost wish there was another exam for a different school for her to sit so all our eggs weren't in one basket.

Thank you everyone for helping me work my way through this :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:19 am
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mitasol wrote:
It's a very fine balance between optimism and realism. :?

Very true. I find it so difficult to ensure what I'm saying is giving DD encouragement and keeping her motivated rather than feeling pressured. :roll:
Hopefully I'm emphasising
- how proud we are of her and how hard she is working/has worked
- that her intelligence isn't in question, the results are dependent on so many factors we cannot influence
- she will do well whatever the result/school because she is bright, motivated and hard working
- we are fortunate to have the opportunity to try for such good schools and to have such good comps as alternatives (although I believe this last one less than the others)

Thanks pixiequeen for asking the question, as you say, it's interesting (and reasuuring) to see what others are saying to their DCs.


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