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Handling Math Phobia

§ May 31st, 2011 § 1 Comment- Add yours§ Filed under Overcoming Fear § Tagged , , , , , , ,

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We all have heard kids say, “I’m not really good at math” or “Math isn’t my thing”, especially after receiving a bad test score. Could these comments be subtle signs that they are afraid of math? If so, we need to pull the child aside and ask some questions that might help shed some light on what they are thinking. Are they afraid of failure, or of not understanding, or are they afraid that they are not smart enough?

Then you might offer, “Do you know what helps me when I’m afraid of failing,” or “Do you know what I do if I don’t understand something?” Sharing your own experiences can really help.

For instance, I like to explain that I try to turn scary situations into opportunities. If I have a mountain to climb and start with the premise that the climb will be too hard and I’m not capable of doing it, then I’ve already defeated myself before starting. Working out a math problem is much like working your way up the steep face of a mountain. Sometimes your direction reaches an impasse and you need to backtrack. It’s the same with math problems. The journey can either be fun and tortuous, depending on how you think about it. This reasoning has worked with my daughters, and I’m sure it can work with others too. § Read the rest of this entry…

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