Is math actually too hard for your child? Does your child struggle with math? Is trying to do their math homework at night a torture? Does it always end in tears? Do you try to help them but the way they do math these days is not the way you did it in school?
Can you remember back to your math class days? Was math hard for you? Was it easy? Was it OK but you had to work hard to get good grades?
Here’s the number one thing I want you to know regardless of how math class was for you when you were a kid…..
How it was for you does not mean it has to be the same story for your kids.
Don’t say: “Math was hard for me. It’s going to be hard for you, too.” “I could not get math. It’s no wonder you struggle, too.”
Don’t pass that on to your kids. Even if you absolutely detest math, don’t say this to your kids. Your story does not have to be your child’s story.
Your attitude and the words you speak about math will affect your children. They will take on your frustration, your annoyance with it, or your lack of not wanting to try to solve it and just grab a calculator.
Math Might be a Struggle for Them Now
But one day the light bulb could go off for them and all the puzzle pieces fit together and it makes sense. Or they grow up like I did and their career path requires them to know math better. Out of sheer desire to see my students succeed, I practiced extra and the more I did math, the easier it came to me.
Watch this Episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast as I share several tips and scripts that you can use today to help your child if they struggle with math.
Math Homework Time Ends in Tears
Let’s say that you are trying to help them with their math homework and it’s not going well. Tears are coming. Ask them, “What are you feeling right now? What are you thinking in your head? If you could talk to this math and tell it something, what would you say?”
If the moment isn’t right to ask those questions because emotions are too high, take a break from the math. Get a snack and drink water. Walk around outside in the backyard and sunshine.
Don’t leave them alone or allow them to stomp off. Let them know that you’re still there with them in the tough moments. Toss a ball around. Swing together. Take the dog for a walk. Whatever you need to do to give them a break.
Then you can ask the questions. “When math is hard, what do you feel? What do you think in your head? If you could talk to math as if it were a person and tell it something, what would you say?”
You can also ask, “When did you first think that math was hard? Who told you that math was hard?” All of these questions help you to better understand your child and to learn how to help them. Asking all of these questions help your child to put their big feelings into words and to share them with someone else so that they don’t feel they have to carry them alone.
If they keep insisting that math is too hard, take time to watch the Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 29 called Motivating Your Child When It’s Too Hard.
Make Math Fun
When you practice math together, make it fun! Don’t miss all of the ideas I share in this episode for making your math time fun. I also share more suggestions for keeping your school work fun and how to add variety to your school time in the Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 32 titled Motivating Your Child When They Don’t Want to Do It.
When your child gets it right, when they keep trying even though it’s hard, when they don’t give up, award them with a Speak Life Badge. There are so many badge phrases to choose from to encourage them to keep trying such as: I did amazing today. I can do math., It’s easy! I’ve got this!, I faced a challenge today and succeeded!, I did not give up. I kept trying, I am willing to learn, I am smart, I am teachable, I speak the truth, I am successful, I am committed, I am a winner, I am a champion, I am hardworking, I am persistent. Get the I Am Special, I am Priceless, and the I Am Smart sticker award books at www.speaklifebadges.com.
Now It’s Your Turn
How will you turn this insight into action? What is one suggestion or script you heard for helping your child with math that you will try out today? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Be sure to add the Renewed Mama Podcast to your favorites for a deeper, practical, we’re in this together, connection. Become an email friend so that you won’t miss an upcoming episode.
If you have any questions about thinking right, speaking right, and responding right in your personal life and in your parenting, ask away by sending me a voice message using the recording app found on the main page of speaklifebadges.com. Or ask your question in the comments below.