Tips to Help Kids Overcome Math Anxiety
Common Causes of Math Anxiety
Math can be intimidating for kids. When first starting school, some children may not have positive associations with math the way they do with art or reading. Math might even be brand new to them, which can provoke feelings of insecurity and stress. This self-doubt can worsen after making mistakes in math – especially if their peers are doing well. Math anxiety is similar to test anxiety: both are rooted in the fear of failure. If your child is stressed out by math, there are many ways to help them see it in a more positive light.
Ways to Help Reduce Math Anxiety
Parents can help their kids overcome math anxiety by offering encouragement, practicing together, and making it fun. Here are some different ways that parents can help their kids develop a positive attitude towards math.
- Encourage your child to keep practicing math. Remind them that math is important and can be used in many practical situations in life, such as leaving a tip for a server. If they’re doing a difficult homework assignment, make sure you’re available to help out if needed. Even if there’s an advanced problem that you’re unable to solve right away, let your child know that you’re willing to figure it out together.
- Focus on the successes. If your child solves a math problem incorrectly, stay optimistic and turn it into a learning opportunity. Praise them for their hard work, then teach them the correct way to solve the equation. Learning from mistakes will help them feel more confident about their math abilities.
- Practice math together. Help your child master the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by frequently practicing math with them. As your child gets more exposure to math, they should start feeling less anxious about it. There are many ways you can practice math with your child besides helping out with homework. Count household objects with them, practice fractions while cooking or baking, add up the prices of items at the store, or simply ask them some math questions throughout the day.
- Be mindful of your own attitude towards math. If you have a negative opinion about math or numbers, your child is likely to notice. When children hear their parents voice negative opinions about math, it can make them view math in a negative way as well. Be aware of your attitude towards math and do your best to talk about it in a positive way when your child is around. Don’t say that math is boring or unpleasant; try mentioning that it can be fun and useful.
- Keep it fun. Play some board games together that involve numbers, such as Yahtzee or Game of Life. This is a great way to help your child view math in a more positive light. You could even try inventing your own math-related games using common household objects. Offer to reward your child if they correctly solve a certain number of math problems.
- Get extra help. Additional guidance from a teacher or tutor can vastly improve children’s math skills. As their math skills grow, their confidence in their math abilities will grow as well.
Just Children Can Provide Math Help for Kids
Whether your child needs help with overcoming math anxiety, test anxiety, or even social anxiety which can arise as a result, Just Children Child Care Centers can help out. At each of our eight locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our professional staff makes learning fun and exciting for children. We have several educational programs for children ages two months through kindergarten, all designed to help kids build the skills they need to do their best in school and life. Schedule a tour today!