How to help a child who has maths anxiety? Some children find maths fun while others develop an anxiety towards maths that can affect them for a lifetime unless addressed early.
This anxiety often appears when children don’t learn to master early maths skills. Then as they develop through the curriculum year after year, the topic gets harder for them as they have never learned to master the fundamentals. This naturally leads to anxiety about the subject. Their confidence is shaken as they can never seem to succeed. When they see their peers succeeding, the problem only gets worse.
So what can you do as a parent to help a child who has maths anxiety?
It’s important that you set the tone by transmitting positive messages about maths to your child and offer reassurance and assistance. Here are 6 ways that may help.
Play maths games
Playing games with your child that are number based is a great way to get them comfortable with maths. This could be a game as simple as Monopoly where they have to count their moves around the board and count money in and out of the bank.
Don’t pass on negative attitudes towards maths
You may have had a bad experience of maths when you were at school but your child does not need to know! Avoid saying things like: “I’m not good at math,”. Your child watches and listens to everything you say and do and could be influenced to thinking the same way.
Spend time doing maths with your child
As you probably know from school, nothing beats practice when it comes to maths. The more often your child does maths, the more they’ll get to understand and accomplish. So, get involved. Spend time helping your child practice. This could be reciting multiplication tables on the way to school, having them do timed exercises for the fun of the challenge, making it a bedtime activity and giving treats for improvements in performance. Keep it positive and fun.
Don’t perpetuate the myth that some people are not good at math
Everyone can learn maths if taught the right way and with a positive start in the subject. And the idea that boys are better than girls at maths is actually not true. In studies, it’s been shown that girls have the natural upper hand in the subject. But regardless, treat everyone as equal and there is no reason for your child to feel there’s an excuse to fail.
Get help early
As the concepts in maths build upon each other, missing out on easy fundamentals early on can impact your child’s ability to understand concepts taught later in the syllabus. That’s why it’s important that you seek help early if your child is struggling.
Yes, you read that right. Mistakes are a natural and important part of learning. Through making mistakes and learning how to correct them, your child will gain a much deeper understanding of the concepts. See mistakes as learning opportunities.