Helping your tween deal with pressure

I am delighted to be guest posting over on Like-Minded Musings today – here is a taster and a link for you to read the rest of the post:

exam hall3_1

Today my tween daughter, along with thousands of other 10 and 11 year olds across the United Kingdom, is starting a week-long set of tests. Whether I agree with the system or not, UK schools use SATs (standard attainment tests) to check a pupil’s progress at the end of their time in their first (primary) school before they leave to start secondary school (for ages 11–16/18) in September. So this is, in effect, the culmination of seven years of schooling.

No pressure then!

We actually live in an area that has a particular type of secondary school that I have never been fond of – grammar schools. Entry to these single-sex schools (something else I’m not that keen on) is by exam. There are usually over 3,000 applicants for a few hundred places. It’s high pressure!

My daughter has always excelled academically, but I wasn’t sure she would cope well emotionally with such a rigorous and demanding entrance criteria. I didn’t push her into taking the tests; she decided for herself that she would like to try and reach the required standard for grammar school and so studied hard for well over a year.

So this week’s set of tests has come after she has completed and passed not only the grammar school tests but also excelled at music scholarship entry tests at other schools too. She is going to be going to her own first choice of grammar school in the autumn, and I am proud of her for not being swayed by her peers as she is the only one from her school who chose it.

The long journey to get to this point has taught us both so much.

For example, we learned to look around each of the secondary schools in our area with spiritual eyes as well as physical, and I was astounded at her spiritual awareness.

I also learned to let go and entrust my daughter to God – over and over again!

This week may be a week of intense pressure, but I feel she has already achieved what her end goal was and so I am trying to alleviate the pressure as much as possible. As well, of course, as utilising some of those vital lessons learned, which I believe can be applied to all sorts of tween parenting situations (not just exams). Click here to read some of them – I hope they are helpful to you too.

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