Does your child run away, kicking and screaming at the mere mention of math? Would they do anything (including hiking up a mountain) rather than learn math? You’re not alone.

As parents, we all want our kids to become math geniuses or, at the very least, learn to love math. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

For many students, math is a scary, complex subject they try to avoid at all costs. This doesn’t only apply to high school algebra; even math third-grade activities can seem scary as well. But we’re here to help.

If your child has an immense fear or apathy towards math, the following strategies will help motivate and push them. 

Why Does Your Child Hate Math?

Before we delve into the main problem, it’s crucial first to tackle its source. Understanding why your child dislikes math helps you solve the problem and makes learning math for kids so much easier.

So, children typically hate math for one or more of the following reasons:

Insufficient support

Math is a technical subject requiring support from a tutor and parents. If there’s no one to help a child when they run into complex problems, they will begin to see the subject as a challenge and hate it. We can see similar results if math isn’t taught according to a kid’s pace.

Wrong mindset

While no one comes into this world hating math, developing this mindset is quite easy. Maybe kids have heard an older sibling bemoan the subject. Or maybe they’ve encountered a few difficulties when learning. Over time, kids may begin to think that math is a complex subject, which will affect their performance and willingness to learn.

A general lack of interest

Sometimes, the problem isn’t a terrible tutor or PTSD from a complex math problem. Your child could simply have a zero interest in math, especially if they see it as nothing more than a compulsory subject they have to take in school. Children will be nonchalant about a subject if there’s nothing exciting or promising about it.

How to Motivate Your Child to Learn Math

If you’re wondering how to motivate your child and help your kids with math, a combination of the following strategies will do the trick:

Praise a kid’s efforts, not results

Here’s the thing: positive reinforcement works like a charm. From kids to pets, this strategy is a great motivation booster. Even as an adult, you get an extra bounce in your step when your supervisor commends your efforts or output.

Unfortunately, many parents forget to praise their kids' efforts and focus instead on results. In most cases, results aren’t an accurate measure of a child’s motivation or the amount of work they’ve put in. By praising your child and rewarding their efforts, you will build their resilience, and they’ll keep trying to improve. The more positive reinforcement they get, the more motivated they’ll be.

Support a kid

Close your eyes and picture yourself as a child. Remember the immense pressure you felt when you had tons of homework to do? That’s exactly how your child feels, if not worse. To help a kid feel better and motivated, you need to be behind them actively. Whether it’s homeschool math or homework from school, simply show up for them. Ask children regularly if they need help – from extra tutorials to a comforting arm or a glass of juice. This approach will go a long way to keep them active and eager to learn.

Make math fun

Who says math has to be boring? Recently, Brighterly, a new edtech startup, stepped into the limelight with a mission: to make math for kids easy and fun. So far, it has done a great job of changing the narrative, and you can tap into this change too.

Introduce fun math activities throughout the day, such as online games, hands-on activities, etc. Due to introducing this fun aspect of math, your kid will stop seeing it as a boring subject and will even begin to look forward to each session.

Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm rubs off on people around us. Thus, if you want your child to become enthusiastic about math, you also have to get in the mood. Inject a heavy dose of optimism into each lesson and show a kid how excited you are about learning math. Even when you encounter a tricky problem, maintain the enthusiasm, and kids will eventually get with the flow.

Final Thoughts

Math is a core subject that’s changing the world, one concept at a time. It’s important for young learners to get on board with this fun subject. Using these tips, you can boost your child’s motivation to learn math. Remember: every child needs a best friend, and that friend – believe it or not – is math.

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