“I hate Math!” Everyday, parents around the world hear this statement. When your child comes to you and tells you that they are “not smart enough” or that math is “hard and stupid”, it can be extremely disheartening. There are 3 main responses that students give when they’re asked why they “hate math.”

1. Math is hard.
2. Math is stupid.
3. I’m not good at math.

Hearing these responses can leave both children and parents feeling defeated about their child’s learning. Fortunately, these three responses can be done away with. First, both you and your child should discover the root of why they decided to hate math.  Once that is done, your child can start to Build Math Confidence using these tips and tricks!

1. “Math is hard.”

Math is not hard; it is precise and unforgiving. It is a step by step process. Encouraging your student to show their work for each step will allow them to tackle the problems with minimal errors! Work through these problems with them to find the “pain points” that they seem to struggle with.  In word problems, for example, work with them on translating the words into mathematic phrases.  This is often the most frustrating part of beginning any word problem.  Once your child tackles this step it is often smooth sailing.

2. “Math is stupid.”

 Students will most likely respond with “I think Math is stupid. This answer often stems from something going on in their math class.  They may not like their teacher, or they may not like going to school in general due to some reason completely unrelated to math. This may be a time to sit down with your child and really listen to what happens during their school day.  If the answer does stem from their math class, they will often ask “When will I use Math? I don’t see why I need to learn this.”  Students typically do not see the value of learning math because they don’t often see how it is used every day. I was told a story by a fellow math teacher.  This story can demonstrate to your children why Math is precise and how they can use math in their dream job!

“A Trip to Mars”

A rover was sent to Mars. Scientists and Engineers spent billions of dollars and years of work to send this machine to Mars. After a successful launch, the entire room clapped, and cheered feeling elated from the success they encountered. They all stood in the launch room and waited patiently for the rover to touch down on Mars. It descended rapidly toward the surface of the planet. Instead of landing gracefully on the surface, it shattered into thousands of pieces upon impact with the ground. The team gasped in shock, what could have gone wrong? After returning to the drawing board to check the calculations, scientists discovered that the math was wrong. Someone forgot to convert feet into meters, thus ruining the chance of landing the rover before it was even built.

3. “I’m not good at Math.”

That’s not true! Your child most likely only thinks they aren’t good at Math. Additionally, by believing that Math is hard, they will never want to use it. Any child who participates in a sport, or band, or after-school club knows that in order to get better at something you have to practice! This applies to Math as well. For more information on how parents can instill math success in their child, check out these helpful tips from Learning Ascent; and get ready to never hear the words “I hate math!” again.

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