Math anxiety is a common problem that many children face.

This anxiety can lead to a difficulty in understanding mathematical concepts which typically leads to a decrease in performance, and a lack of confidence in their ability to solve math problems.

As a parent, you can help your child deal with their math anxiety and develop a positive attitude towards mathematics. In this article, we will discuss some effective strategies to help your child overcome math anxiety.

5 ways to help your child deal with math anxiety

Here are 5 ways to help your child deal with math anxiety.

1. Encourage Positive Thinking

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to encourage positive thinking and avoid modeling math anxiety. It is important that parents exhibit positive statements toward math and a can-do attitude. Parents should avoid saying, I am not a math person,” or “I am not good at math.”

Instead say, “math may not come easily to me but that does not mean it can’t be fun or that you can’t excel in it. Let’s explore it together.” or “Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses , and it is ok if math is not your favorite subject, what matters is that you put in the effort and always strive to improve.”

Math anxiety often stems from negative self-talk, where children tell themselves they are not good at math or that they will fail.

Encourage your child to reframe their thoughts by reminding them of their past successes and encouraging them to focus on their strengths.

Encourage your child to keep an open mind when solving math problems. If they do not understand something they should be able to tell you at what point they got confused. Many times kids just say, “I don’t get it” and their mind closes down and the brain stops firing neurons.

Ask where in the process did you start to get confused? It is important to pinpoint exactly where the problem lies so you can inform the teacher to help correct any misconceptions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          math anxiety 

2. Create a Positive Learning Environment

Establishing a supportive learning environment is vital to helping your child overcome math anxiety. You can achieve this by incorporating fun and interactive activities such as games and puzzles to teach math concepts. Games and puzzles are fun and can build number sense. These activities are not merely practice, instead they are enjoyable and foster the development of math skills that lead to success.

Also, create a non-judgemental, supportive environment that encourages your child to ask questions and seek help. Additionally, set aside a consistent time for daily math practice and reward progress along the way. By emphasizing the learning process rather than the end result, you can foster a positive attitude towards math in your child.  

3. Practice, Practice, Practice to Eliminate Math Anxiety

One of the most effective ways to overcome math anxiety is through practice.

Encourage your child to practice math problems regularly, starting with easier problems and gradually increasing to more challenging ones.

This approach will help your child build both confidence and competence in math, making the subject less intimidating.

To make practice more enjoyable consider the use of online games such as Awakening where students battle beasties by answering math questions correctly. You can also play board games as a family that reinforce math concepts in a non-threatening way.

Some of my favorite games are Yahtzee, Smath (like scrabble but with equations) , Monopoly or any board game where money is involved. Be sure to let your child be the banker. The more fun you can make this practice the more likely your child will actually enjoy these sessions.

4. Seek Additional Help

If your child is struggling with math anxiety, it may be beneficial to seek out additional support.

Consider enlisting the aid of a tutor or a teacher who can provide extra support and guidance. You can also encourage your child to seek assistance from their peers or participate in after-school programs that focus on math.

It is important to avoid telling your child you were never good at math, as this could unintentionally reinforce negative beliefs about the subject. Instead, make it a collaborative effort and tell your child you are willing to learn together.

It is important to convey the message that everyone can excel at math; it just takes effort, dedication and a growth mindset to master the subject.  With the right mindset and support, your child can overcome math anxiety and achieve success in math.

5. Be Patient and Supportive

Finally, it is crucial to exercise patience and provide unwavering support when helping your child manage math anxiety.

Avoid displaying frustration or criticism when your child makes mistakes, and instead, offer positive feedback and words of encouragement.

Creating a safe and supportive learning environment can help your child develop a positive attitude towards math, and gradually increase their confidence in their ability to tackle math problems. Celebrate small victories along the way and remind your child it is okay to make mistakes, as they are a part of the learning process.

By being patient and supportive, you can help your child overcome their fear of math and develop the skills needed to succeed in the subject. 

To sum up, math anxiety is a prevalent issue that affects many students, but it is not unconquerable.

By employing a variety of effective strategies and providing support, parents can help their children overcome this hurdle.

Encouraging positive thinking, creating an atmosphere that fosters learning, regularly practicing math concepts, seeking additional help when needed and being patient and supportive are all essential elements in building a strong foundation for math success.

With these approaches, parents can empower their children to overcome their math anxiety and develop the necessary skills and confidence to excel in mathematics.

It is important to remember that every child learns at their own pace in their own unique way, so be sure to tailor your approach to fit your child’s individual needs.

By instilling a positive attitude and providing the right support, parents can help their children develop a lifelong love of learning and mathematics.

math anxiety

math at homeWith 30 years of experience in public education, Andrea Goddard, is now serving as the Director of Curriculum and Academics at Legends of Learning. Her mission is to engage students in meaningful learning experiences and add to their education by including math at home activities.


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