So your shinning little star of son, who is confident about any and everything from growing lima beans for biology project or smashing the other team’s soccer defense, gets jittery even before one can say math? Or your daughter who stuns everyone with her recitals and drawings giving you nightmares with her math grade. The situation is so common, that all you can do is shake heads and remember your own math phobia. Some parents simply presume that their tots are not ‘good with numbers’. The reality is different; you cannot just accept things as it is. The kids need your support to grip the math anxiety.
Understanding the cause of math anxiety
The math anxiety could stem from a virus type of reasons; a serious math teacher, poor grades in math, impatient teaching procedure, and peer pressure etc. all these factors make the child less confident and naturally their learning process slows down than normal. This off course results them in doing continual mistakes and getting scolding besides poor grade. Slowly a fear against math ignites and makes the subject a total panic area. If there is any specific cause behind your child’s math anxiety, any one out of the ones listed above, try addressing that first.
Ways to control it
The fact that parents spend most of the time with a child at home, and are the people the child is most comfortable with, makes their role in addressing any of the anxiety related issue quite substantial. Similar is the case of math anxiety in your ward. You may have engaged a specialized tutor to do the same, but relies that you too will have to contribute; careful parental guidance is the best remedy. Make your tone and behavior with the child resonate with positivity and reassurance. This would boost up their confidence.
Fun ways to increased affinity to math
Your child needs to understand and love math, instead of being petrified with it. So what you should do is to make him/her like the subject; this you can do by letting them play math games, helping them with exercises and homework, letting them have a small treat after doing well in a math test/exam etc. you can make practice lessons fun by accompanying the tots yourself.
Remember that penalizing or punishing the child, humiliating him/her for doing poorly in a math test is never going to help. You need to remove the negativity if their outlook towards the subject rather than building the same up, accepting the mistake and correcting it the next time is much more necessary. Now what is needed is full support from you, choose a tutor (if absolutely required) who will concentrate on the particular issues bugging your child. Buy colorful math books, notebooks etc to keep the child’s interest hooked on to. If detected and treated in the early days of schools, your child will never suffer from math anxiety.