Easy Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Math!
If you, as a parent, understand the causes of severe anxiety about numbers and calculations, dealing with it will be much easier.
A child’s fear of math makes it difficult to learn the subject, so large gaps in knowledge can arise. This means lower grades on your diploma and an inability to pursue a career in a field that requires good math skills.
But it doesn’t end there. A person who is uncomfortable with numbers, charts, and calculations find it harder to make sound financial decisions. And even taking care of one’s health, such as correctly interpreting data explaining the risks of a disease or the harms of a habit.
With such a state of heightened anxiety associated with mathematical ability, researchers distinguish it as a special type of anxiety.
What is the peculiarity of mathematical anxiety?
It manifests itself in the form of tension, uncertainty, and fear when it is necessary to count something. It can be accompanied by purely physical symptoms: sweaty palms, an off-scale pulse, and a lump in the throat.
Schoolchildren and students suffer from it most often. Anxious thoughts prevent them from remembering rules and formulas, causing a condition best described by the phrase “Brain freeze. Therefore, students with high levels of math anxiety often perform worse on tests and remember new material less well. And this only increases anxiety, creating a vicious cycle.
Where math anxiety comes from?
Researchers at Cambridge University worked with nearly two thousand elementary and middle school children, asking them about their attitudes toward math and examining their academic performance. They found a range of reasons that can lead to the development of math anxiety.
One reason is the belief that math is harder than other subjects. If a child has this opinion beforehand, he or she feels less confident in lessons and during homework. Bad grades, failed tests, unpleasant comparisons with peers, brothers, and sisters – all of which children themselves have cited as reasons.
In addition, parents’ attitudes toward math play an important role. If they themselves are afraid of algebra and geometry, they may inadvertently “infect” their children with fear.
Teachers’ teaching style also influences this. The children interviewed during the study reported that the different methods of explanation sometimes confuse them, and this makes them feel less confident.
Another possible factor for math anxiety is social expectations. Girls experience fear of math more often than boys because of the ingrained stereotype that girls are naturally less good at science.
How to overcome your own fear?
1. Know the symptoms of fear of math. If you are worried about math or having to do math, you may develop math anxiety or a fear of math. There are four signs to recognize a phobia: panic, paranoia, passivity, and insecurity. Answer the following questions to see if you have a phobia:
Panic. Do you feel helplessness or intense fear at the thought of classes, tests and quizzes, and math homework?
Paranoia. Do you feel that you are the only one who can’t do the math and that everyone else is smarter than you?
Passivity. Have you given up? Have you stopped trying to understand math because you don’t think you’re smart enough for it?
Insecurity. Do you doubt all your calculations? Do you rely on others for help?
2. Face the fact that you are afraid of math. As with many phobias and addictions, the first step in treatment is admitting the problem. Having this phobia doesn’t make you a bad person, but if you do nothing about it, it can negatively affect your life.
3. Find the right math course for you. Everyone has different abilities and a different rate of learning. It is extremely important to choose a level that matches your preparation. If you fall into a more advanced group, it will be very difficult for you to learn.
4. Choose a teacher whose method of teaching is right for you. This is usually not possible in schools and universities, but you can choose a course instructor or tutor. Study the reviews to see what the teaching method of the instructor you like is. For example, there are many services like Paperhelp, which can help students with their tasks. Many students ask: is paperhelp legit? Yes, sure, it’s absolutely legit. Check the information on their site.
5. Ask questions if you don’t understand something. In math, the more complicated material builds on, the simpler material, and if you miss something in the beginning, it will be difficult to understand the material later. Good teachers want students to understand everything. Maybe the teacher doesn’t know what the problem is because you haven’t talked about it.
6. Solve the easiest problems first. Typically, homework assignments have simple problems first, and their complexity gradually increases. Figure out the easy problems first, and then move on to the difficult ones. Take your time. Skip tasks if you get stuck. You can always come back to them later.
How to help your child overcome his fear of math
Ideally, it’s a good idea to get your child thinking positively about math right away, starting in first grade or even earlier. If math anxiety has already arisen, try the following steps.
1. Control your behavior
Make sure you are not unknowingly feeding your child’s fear. Think back to how you usually talk about math and what you think about your abilities. Try to become more confident.
2. Turn to learn into a game.
Look for fun math games, offer them to your child, and play them with him.
3 Use apps
Install computer programs and apps that help you practice different math skills. The good thing about apps is that they create an environment where your child doesn’t feel judged for failing.
4. Remind your child of successes
Provide examples of instances where he has succeeded in a math task himself more often. This will help him boost his confidence and change his attitude toward the subject.
5. Write down fears.
Invite your child to write down their fears before a test or exam. According to studies, it reduces anxiety and even helps to get a better grade.
6. Learn to recognize the signs of a phobia in your child. If a child is not interested in math or is afraid to do homework, it means that the subject may be causing them anxiety. The child may say that he will never figure out math or that he is not smart enough to understand the subject.
7. Reassure your child that he is smart and capable. Positive motivation will help your child overcome fear. Don’t scold the child if he does something wrong, but talk to him about the difficulty and emphasize what the child did right. Point out what skills the child has mastered, and don’t get upset about what still needs to be worked on.
8. Create a positive environment for learning math. Talk about math in a positive way. If the child gives the wrong answer, suggest that he reread the problem again. Don’t scold the child for making a mistake.
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