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 Post subject: stressed child
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:28 pm 
Advice urgently needed-

We have just found that our child who is due to sit the 11+ exam on Saturday has been pulling hairs out of his head through stress and has a sizeable bald patch, thankfully at the moment it is able to be covered up by his grungy style hair.
More importantly however, this is a visible and apparent sign of stress and he has said that it is due to the nature of the build up to the test, the uncertainty of where he will go to school and the fact that all he wants to do really is attend the local catchment unselective school.
Do we stop now and remove the stress????
Please advise me. Any advice gratefully received. I have told him, and reiterated tonight that there will be no shouting etc etc if he goes to the local school, we just want to provide him with choices and provide a good education. It wouldn't be the school of my choosing if i am honest though. Large, impersonal and under resoursed. HELP!!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
I do sympathise - you must feel awful. Year 6 can be unsettling for all children.

Have you been round the schools yet so he can see the opportunities you want for him? It's hard to understand that all schools are not the same -

I would encourage him to sit the test and make sure you have a treat lined up for Saturday evening i.e. however well he has done you love him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:27 pm 
Thank you so much for the advice. I genuinely appreciate it. I value your advice as I have read many of your posts in the past-I'm a fraid I am writing under another name as my usual one identifies who my son is and I don't want his friends to know- and I remember that you teach in a grammar school. The suggestion of a treat after Saturday seems very wise. thank you. If I am honest I was worried that your message would advise me to stop everything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:43 pm 
Poor boy and poor you.

At least you have spotted it now. It affects children in all sorts of ways. some will treat the exams with diffidence, others will chew through all their nails.

My child did not really want to go to the school we thought would suit him, he wanted to go to the comprehensive that all his friends were going to. in fact, just before we sent in the form before the deadline, he had a big upset. His reasons were although he knew the school we were aiming for was very good and that the one everyone wanted to go was not going to challenge him, he felt that he did not have a real choice.

Other friends were asked by their parents where they wanted to go and which school they liked. we didn't feel it was the exam preparation that stre55ed him. He was more than able but sometimes did begrudge the time taken out of his 'free' time to practise.

We had a long long talk and through it all explained again how the system worked and that it was very important to cover all bases.

I think your child is rightly identifying the imminent departure of childhood - leaving primary school and the journey there is made more fraught by having to sit exams.

Like you we said that if he really wanted to we will put the comprehensive first but there was no guarantee all his friends will get a place there. So the most important thing for himself would be to sit the test and see how it goes but that he should try his best as he's prepared so hard for it and then take it from there. The competition was so fierce for the grammar school places and even if he did put in all his best, who knows. We promised he'd see his old friends regularly and keep in touch with his favourite chums, some who lived very near by.

It was quite an emotional night as we thought he had been happy all along with what we discussed with him about choosing the school. In the end, we said to sleep on it and we would abide by his choice, crossed our fingers all night and in the morning he was happy again. He agreed that all the hard work would be wasted and he would put the grammar first and see how that goes.

In hindsight I think it was the thought of leaving primary school that set off the fear that he'd be all alone in grammar, in a school he worked hard for but will not enjoy.

Give him even more cuddles and reassurances and hopefully, the stress of it all will be easier to bear.

Good Luck to your son.

On the motorway( not at the crossroads anymore)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
I had to take my son out of a middle school system to move to grammar. He left all his local friends at the end of year 6 knowing that they would have been all together until year 8. His stress showed as mood swings and lethergy. Guest 55 has said it all. Reward him for the efffort he has put in not the result. I explained that I thought the grammar would give him more opportunities to make his own choices in life. It was very hard for him originally as he didn't know a soul but now in Y8 he has said that he realises how going to grammar has changed his outlook. He still keeps in contact with his friends but did need a lot of reassurance at the time. I do feel for you and your son...it is such a change for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:25 pm 
Thank you so much Chad and Guest for your thoughtful, sensitively crafted responses. I am looking forward to hugging my son tomorrow and trying to relieve some of the stress for him by encouraging him to feel more a part of the decision making process.
I shall also visit the Head of his school to let her know that he is struggling to cope at the moment. They have been doing SO many practise tests in the last few weeks, and before the summer hols, she may need to know to go more carefully with him.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:29 pm 
Quote:
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. :cry:


You are very welcome. Please don't :cry:

You are a very good parent to come and search for answers and he will be alright as you are there to guide him.Hope you sleep very well tonight. God bless.

On the motorway(not at the crossroads)


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 Post subject: stressed child
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
Hi, I want to wish you both all the best for tomorrow. Our child was very similar and extremely nervous. In the end we explained that he didn't have to take the test if he preferred not to, but that if he didn't have a go at it - he might always wonder whether he'd have passed or not.
Unfortunately there is no choice of another school where we live. To get into the nearest reasonable comp - you need to put it down as your first choice. Once you choose the selection school route - you're finished! The schools in our area don't do "practice papers" with the children, so it's down to the parents financial ability to purchase 11+ resources - or pay a costly private tutor. There are schools here which I strongly suspect do tuition for their children entering the selection process - but it's very hush hush! The pressure is really strong if you find out too late that everyone else has been tutored and your child hasn't! I wouldn't wish to go through this again. Very good luck for tomorrow - and to everyone reading this post who's enetering the exams. :)


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 Post subject: Re: stressed child
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:19 pm 
Katie wrote:
Hi, I want to wish you both all the best for tomorrow. Our child was very similar and extremely nervous. In the end we explained that he didn't have to take the test if he preferred not to, but that if he didn't have a go at it - he might always wonder whether he'd have passed or not.
Unfortunately there is no choice of another school where we live. To get into the nearest reasonable comp - you need to put it down as your first choice. Once you choose the selection school route - you're finished! The schools in our area don't do "practice papers" with the children, so it's down to the parents financial ability to purchase 11+ resources - or pay a costly private tutor. There are schools here which I strongly suspect do tuition for their children entering the selection process - but it's very hush hush! The pressure is really strong if you find out too late that everyone else has been tutored and your child hasn't! I wouldn't wish to go through this again. Very good luck for tomorrow - and to everyone reading this post who's enetering the exams. :)

Thank you Katie. Last night we went to visit the grammar school which we would like our son to attend and he fell in love with it!! What a relief... he seems slightly calmer now. Also, I spoke to his Head yesterday morning and she reassured me that he an ideal candidate to take and pass the 11+. She really put my mind at ease and said how well he was doing etc etc. We are fortunate that the school has done many teats with them, the Head personally oversees them and seems to have a handle on the abilities of each child.
Hopefully the hair pulling will now ease but it is quite shocking and his mental health comes first. We have totally backed off and are giving him lots of time, cuddles and reassurance. Roll on tomorrow evening.
Good luck everyone, you deserve it for all the hard work that has been put in xx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
That's really good news - the Head sounds great too - just the right thing to say to boost him.

Hope things good well - big hugs all round


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