Helping Children Cope with Uncertainty

four people on seashore

Uncertain Times

We all know as adults how difficult these uncertain times have been. If you think back to when you were a child, it is easy to see how difficult this confusing and rapidly changing world appears to them. The children that we teach at Smart 11+ Tuition are exceptionally intelligent and we know that they will be picking up on how strange and turbulent everything feels at the moment. This, in turn, will almost certainly lead to higher levels of anxiety, particularly when it comes to learning. It is easy to forget but for children, school is all they have ever known. This was taken away in March and whilst it is coming back, they will know it will be different.

For us at Smart 11+ Tuition, the focus of our attention has always been the 11  Plus exam in September. In our blog last week we told you about the changes in Warwickshire, and how there are no such changes in Birmingham at this time. This flux will be having an effect on the children that we teach. How can we mitigate this and help them thrive and succeed in this challenging world?


One of the most important things to do with children is to talk about it. Discuss any fears or concerns they might have and do not dismiss them, however small or large. Talk through what the possible outcomes are, and reassure them that you are there for them whatever happens. The 11 Plus exam moving (or not) might be a big stress to them. Don’t tell them not to worry but instead seek answers together. Read the news about the exam to them and let them know of the support available from you, or your Smart 11+ Tuition tutors if they need someone to talk with.

Let them be disappointed or frustrated at the changes if that’s how they feel. They will have had lots of disappointments lately, from missing birthday parties to holidays. Be there to listen to these frustrations. Some children will be sad that all the preparation they put in preparing for the 11 Plus in Warwickshire is being wasted following the delay, whilst children in Birmingham might feel that they could use the extra time. Talk to your child and reassure them that you will support them no matter what. Once the pressure is off, hopefully, they will feel more able to perform at their best.

Other Ideas

Some other things you can do are building a routine, trying to reduce the number of times they see you stressed by the situation that we have all found ourselves in and building an array of home activities to keep their little minds active. All of these steps can help but if you think of any others, please get in touch. We love to share your ideas!