Never too old to learn
Every summer for the past three years our two elder girls have faced proper external life-changing exams and that means Easter signals the start of revision season – that weird slightly alarming, slightly optimistic time when you know that if you put your back into it you can still Make A Difference. So far so good, the school has put on extra revision classes and sent the timetable out in the post along with the school reports. The little ones are signed up to holiday schemes to keep them busy and out of the house, and my daughter is – so far – fired up and motivated to do well.
But where does that leave me, the clueless not exactly shining role model of her mum who, at her age, was busy skiving and slacking and then panicked and crammed and got through it all by the skin of her teeth? Yes exams were harder in my day, but only because I didn’t pay attention and didn’t do the work! Today’s kids are far more clued up and motivated and as a result they know far more than I did at their age. I’d love to be able to help my children revise, but apart from minimising distractions and maximising snacking opportunities I don’t know where to start.
Time to turn to Noel Janis-Norton, a reassuringly softly spoken American learning and behaviour strategist and founder of the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre in London for help. Noel is a former teacher and can relax and motivate a child in a tantrum in under five minutes – I’ve seen it with my own eyes – but her real skill lies in calming down parents and transforming them into rational beings who can then go and create calmer, happier and easier lives for themselves and their parents.