Praise and Positive Attitude: Helping Your Child Build Confidence in Math

Math is a subject a child either loves or hate. Math is a subject your child excels in or struggles with it. Math isn’t always so cut and dry because there are different methods you can use to get to the answer, but regardless of which method you choose you’ll get to the same answer as everyone else.

Understanding math can be very daunting for a child who is struggling and who can’t seem to get it, but parents can use praise and encourage positive thinking to ease the pain and struggle. They can also make math an enjoyable, and fun, learning experience.

Every person learns things differently and with math it can be explained in several ways. A child may not understand how a teacher explains it, but when a fellow student explains it to them they get it.

Show them how you would figure out the math problem. Your way combined with how their teacher taught them and another student explaining it, may just click for your child.

Take them through each step of the math problem first and then guide them while they figure out the next problem. Then let your child figure out the next problem. Once they get it right without your help, be sure to praise them. Praising them reinforces to your child they can do it and it boosts their confidence level.

Here’s a true story.

There was a student who struggled with math from the very beginning. Her Dad sat down with her, showed, and explained to her each step. He even wrote out a formula for each of the math problems. Once she got confirmation from her Dad that she was doing an awesome job, she was flying through her math worksheet and she was doing every question right.

The next day she had a chapter test and she said to her Mom, “What if I fail?” Her Mom replied, “You’re not going to fail because you know the formulas. Trust yourself.”

Each day she was encouraged to bring home extra math homework to review and study. Her hard work paid off because at the end of second term she had improved two letter grades bringing her math grade to a well-deserved B.

Two very important things to remember are praise and a positive attitude. Change the way your child thinks by enforcing and teaching your child to only have positive thoughts and to remember math isn’t hard and it’s how they approach it. If they are fearful, then math will be difficult. If they accept the challenge and make it fun, then their attitude towards it will be positive.

The combination of a lot of hard work, self-confidence, positive thinking and praise is a winning formula for any child who is struggling with math.

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  1. Memory Mom Melissa on March 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful wisdom. I was so excited to find your blog. I have been doing a month-long blog series on “Math Madness”, helping moms find ways to make math fun and incorporate it in everyday activities and play! Hope you can check it out!

  2. Johanna on April 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Wow, this encourages me! We’re shifting our son to homeschooling soon, and math is the one subject that I personally love but have been unsure about teaching to my son on my own! :) thanks for this inspiring post!

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