Why are you making your child suck at math? Just stop!

Your child HATES math.  They hide their homework, they hide their test scores.  Homework time is a nightmare that you don’t want to deal with after your own long and stressful day.  This nightly nightmare is made worse because you are awful at math and you have no idea how to help them.   Before one more night goes by, let’s bite the bullet, take a step back and really examine why this massive pain-in-the-neck is 100% your fault.

Yes, I said it.  No one wants to be the one to step up and say it for fear of making you mad.  Certainly, no one that is out there who will make money if your child sucks at math. However, I care way more about your child’s future then about making money.  Instead of just putting a Band-Aid on the problem, let’s really find out what is causing it and fix THAT.

First, and foremost, this problem with your child started a LONG time ago.  It started when they heard YOU say, “I’m no good at math!” or some iteration of that statement.  From the moment they are born, your child adores you and wants to be JUST like you.  Even if they don’t seem like it now, they look up to you and mimic your behaviors.  When they hear “I’m no good at dffhdmath” out of your mouth, they make that internal and they will not be good at math either.

I hear this statement several times a week out of parent’s mouths, and IT MAKES ME SICK! Do you REALLY want your child to have the same problems that you perceive to have?  If you do, just stop right here and do something else because nothing I say will make a difference.  However, if you want to improve your child’s life so they rise above and achieve so much more than you, read on.  This problem is EASY to fix.

Ok, now that you are still here, you must admit, grudgingly, that the above scenario is true.  Let’s FIX it – for both YOU and YOUR CHILD.

  1. STOP saying you are not good at math, that you hate math, that you suck at math – whatever it is, just stop.  Don’t allow anyone to say those things in your house.  Start a ‘fine jar’ with a set fine whenever anyone, especially you, says that.  Why would I do that when you believe so dearly that this statement is true?  Now read this carefully…..You are good at math – everyone can be – what you had were awful teachers who didn’t explain it to you in a way you understood.  Even without talking to you, after helping close to 1,000 people, it all goes back to 3rd Grade Math.  If you didn’t TRULY understand the concepts, it is almost impossible to understand high level math.  This isn’t your fault or your child’s fault.  However, it is your fault if you don’t try to fix it.
  2. Say instead “I don’t understand it either – let’s work together to figure it out” – you may be “undermining” the authority of their teacher if you say they aren’t teaching very well. However, what’s more important – a teacher who doesn’t care one iota about your child or your child?  I pick your child.  There are a plethora of fantastic teachers out there. All good teachers are more than willing to spend extra time to help struggling students.  However, it is unfortunate that the American school system is riddled with people who go into teaching because they can’t do anything else and they see it as an ‘easy job’.
  3. Learn the concepts with them – I KNOW you are busy and stressed. I 100% get that. I get frustrated with my own kids when I have hours of work to do and they need me to help with work they should be able to do themselves.  However, take a deep breath.  Your work, the laundry, the dishes, will all be there later.  Will your child?  They will see someone who struggles, who doesn’t know everything (or pretends to know everything, which is worse) but instead of whining and passing the buck, you persevere and LEARN it!
    1. How do you learn it now? I know that you probably thought of that awful saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  YES, you can – it just is harder with every passing day and as long as you don’t WANT to – it is near impossible.  However, when you WANT to – it’s doable.  Not easy – but doable and once you start getting it, learning because ENJOYABLE!
      1. Determine HOW you learn – do you learn best by reading a book, researching online or having a person work with you? Is it a combination of those? Once you figure out what works best for you, go with that method for you and your child to work together.  If they learn different than you, start with what works for you first, then once you understand it, change to what works for them.

That’s all there is to it – you just have to take responsibility for the poor teaching you received as a child and do something about it now.  You will see an improvement in attitude in your child as well as in their grade.  Remember – while it is frustrating to do something you are not good at, the pay-off of learning it will make you feel fabulous!

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