I know you could have told yourself that, but here’s what that one truth means.
1. Loves you.
2. Believes you.
3. Needs you.
4. Learns from you.
5. Learns everything about how to be, learn and think from you.
Your son or daughter at primary school age looks up to you – and is influenced by you – in way they will never be again.
What this means is that you are in a position of what I call
Every day, whether you try to or not, you influence your child.
If that’s true, then imagine how you can influence them when you do try.
Deliberate influence directed at a definite target – this is superinfluence. There are five happy steps to superinfluence when we are getting ready to sit and pass the 11+, plus one bonus step. (Begin developing your superinfluence with the English Masterclass Bundle – four books dedicated to multiple choice tests and outstanding 11 plus creative writing.)
1. Knowing that you do have influence.
2. Deciding what and how begins with where.
3. Naming and getting rid of your worries about the 11+.
4. Doing it: doing the influencing. My own mantra is ‘Only doing does.’ Because it’s true.
5. Repeating step 4. ‘Only doing does’ doesn’t mean ‘only doing once does.’
We’re going to go deeper into each of these over the next 5 posts, making this another 11plushappy! mini-series. P.S. You have one week left to grab your copy of the English Masterclass bundle sale – all four books – for less than half price. I urge you to seize the moment and move your child to the front of the line now.
1: Know that you have influence
We’ve been through it already: you do. Accept it.
You launch your child’s life.
Where are you launching them towards? What skills are you going to give them to make sure they don’t just survive life’s journey, but create life’s journey. Be guided by this statement:
Parents who put education first tend to develop children who come first in education.
It’s not rocket science. Speak French, they learn French. Speak telly every night, they learn telly every night.
Speak excuses, they learn excuses. Speak belief and achievement, they learn belief and achievement.
What you want to get across to your child is the message that what matters is
“You, me and learning.”
Because it is what matters.
I’m not saying the other stuff of life is rubbish or less important. I know I’m risking you saying, ‘Hang on, I want my child to play football, or chat with friends, or swim, I want my child to enjoy his computer games, to enjoy his childhood.’
Well, my son, and the other children we know who make it to grammar school, still played football, still swam – they simply did it as part of the learning schedule.
There is time for it all. But at the same time, there is only one time for a best shot at that grammar school.
Your child will enjoy his childhood if you love them, if he or she has a great relationship with you, if they know you care, if you guide them, if you believe in them, if you develop them. Develop them and you set your child up to enjoy childhood days and teenage days and adulthood days and old age.
Be careful of a strange fear in modern culture of ‘putting pressure’ on kids. It’s a feature of language and thought today that some grown-ups sprinkle their sentences with the word ‘stress’ like some people sprinkle salt on their food.
My instinct, from observations on children at school and in tuition, is it isn’t helpful and it isn’t true.
Sprinkling salt or stress isn’t good for you!
Technology-creep, obesity, selfishness, poverty of language, a material-craving, but work-avoiding celebrity obsessed generation – that’s pressure. Not getting a good job when you become an adult and are trying to make a home – that’s pressure. Getting up to your neck in debt because you can’t earn enough to pay the bills – that’s pressure.
Not thinking you are worth, or able, to go for your dream with everything you have – that’s pressure.
The truth is children love challenge. Leave them alone and they’ll argue to be the best at ANYTHING – my spaghetti is longer than yours, I can throw further than you, I’ve got to level 7 on this game, my team is better than yours, on and on it goes. Listen to children talk and very quickly you’ll discover a natural desire to be and do and have the best.
All you are doing is funnelling that natural, fun urge for challenge through the positive filter of superinfluence, and directing it towards learning and developing their mind and character in ways that will help them be ready to sit the test, as well as learning academic and personal skills they will use for the rest of their days.
Reassuringly, the 11+ process is about challenge, not competition. Being the best you can be is very different from being better than anyone else. How can they be compared with another child? Your child is unique – it is impossible. So let them know there is no need to worry or compare themselves to other children. By all means, however, let them compare themselves with themselves! What do they know this week that they didn’t know last week?
Parenting is your job, and superinfluence is your power.
Don’t leave parenting up to advertisers, phones, game developers, telly; don’t let it be influenced by your exhaustion at the end of the day. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
Join me tomorrow for the next part of this superinfluence series. Ready to go? Use your superinfluence and the English Masterclass Bundle to teach your child the skills they absolutely need to have the best chance of passing their 11 plus. You can still grab it at a bargain price, but only for 7 days.