Turn your child into a maths magician?

Hate Maths? Your Attitude Is Catchy!
Maths is a subject that people seem to either love or hate. As an adult we become very polarised, either avoiding maths whenever we can, or embracing it in everyday life. But have you thought about how your attitude is affecting your child?
As a parent you possess the amazing ability to mold and shape your children, whether you are positive or negative towards maths can leave a lasting impression on your children.

Our attitudes and actions leave lasting impressions. If we look at our own lives you will see that you are most likely a product of the things your parents were passionate about. It could be music, sport, or in this case, maths.

An AP/AOL news poll of 1000 adults found that 37 percent of adults recalled they 'hated' math at school. Under the most hated subject- maths was the winner; twice as many people said they hated maths, out of any other subject at school.

There is a great deal of research that show that parent negativity towards maths, either in our comments or attitude have lots of consequences for our children;

  • Stress and lack of confidence
  • Low motivation towards maths and homework
  • Not wanting to take part in class
  • Boredom, not paying attention after all 'what's the point'
  • Low tolerance for challenges (which affects many other areas of life)
  • Failure to keep pace with class lessons
  • Behavior problems- your child may rather be seen as being naughty then seemingly 'stupid'-which sadly, is how they see themselves
  • Dropping maths as a subject as soon as possible and in doing so losing the opportunities for subsequent professional success

    As parents we are our child's first teacher, most of the maths experiences that a child brings to school start with what has happened in the home. These early experiences lay the foundations for future successes, and can create an attitude toward maths and education that may last their whole life. When we make comments like:

  • You'll never use it anyway
  • I was never any good at maths either
  • I hate maths
  • I never did maths like that, they are teaching you wrong, that seems like a stupid way to do it.
  • It's too hard

    then we create an atmosphere that allows our children to have low expectations in maths. We give them an excuse not to try hard, as nobody expects them to succeed anyway.

    It is certainly very difficult as a parent if you have had bad experiences in maths or find the new way of math difficult to understand, it is important to build your own confidence too.You will find that many schools understand this and run numeracy programs to help parents understand and build confidence in maths.

    The great thing about these truths is that the opposite is true as well! If we as parents are excited about maths and learning new things, then our children will be too.

    In next week's Wednesday Wisdom we will look at ways you can turn your attitude around and make lasting positive impressions for your children about maths. It's exciting and easier than you think!
  • StayOnTrack Limited 2014