What do you do when your child comes home and tells you that they hate math? I know at some point, your child will tell you that they hate a certain subject and the way you react may be a gamechanger for your child.
You can talk negatively about school or learning in general. You can tell stories about how horrible your experience in school was. You can call the teacher and yell and scream that they are just too hard on your child. You can complain to all of your friends. You can tell your child to skip the assignments because it isn’t important. You can do all of these things and fill your child with all kinds of negative thoughts, or…
You can listen intently. Restate how your child is feeling. Ask a few questions that will lead you to discover where the frustration comes from. Then you can look for solutions. This is the path that may feel a LOT like running a marathon without training-it can be painful for your child and you at the same time. Our first instinct is to protect our child. We don’t want our child to be frustrated and find things difficult. We didn’t like it when we were growing up, so we want to protect them. The thing is, life is full of struggles and even though this isn’t fun, it can be an amazing experience for both of you.
What? Amazing? I thought we were talking about hating a subject at school? Yes, we are. Now we are going to talk about actionable steps you can take to help your child get a better understanding of the subject they are struggling with. What is so amazing about this? Your child gets to see you as a person they can depend on to help solve an issue. Your child will get to see you working with them to discover techniques that they can try to help them deal with struggle. And, your child will know that they can come to you with their problems and you will be supportive. I see this as a win-win. But, a cautionary tale is to remind you that even though you are helping your child, you’re not the one doing the work. Your child needs to do the work. If they are not actively involved, they won’t learn how to do this on their own.
Find out where the problem is. Is the problem that your child has an underlying issue with something that is keeping them from moving forward? In math, many times kids don’t have a solid understanding of their math facts and this is what is keeping them from moving forward. If this is what the problem was, then you should use this to guide our next steps.
Research methods to help your child with their problem. For instance, if your child is struggling with their math facts, you will want to read about methods that work for children as they are learning their math facts.
Begin trying the methods that are suggested to help your child learn their math facts (or other subject area problem). Be sure to try several out. Once your child begins to show confidence with a method, they can decide which one they want to stick with. Don’t give up, just keep going. Stopping too soon won’t help.
Celebrate success as they begin to show confidence and they recall the information they are learning.
Remind them to use their new skills.
These are just five simple steps you can try as you support your child on their learning journey. However, if you discover these don’t work, don’t waste time and continue with the struggle. Sometimes the fastest path to success is to find a professional that can help. I know that parents get concerned with the cost of private tutors, however, most parents are so relieved when their child finally “gets it.” They can clearly see that the benefits outweigh the cost, and in the end, their child is moving forward and is having success.
I hope this will help support your child on their learning journey. For more information about Tutoring with Sheryl, be sure to visit https://midwesttutor.com/home-2/ or https://linktr.ee/sheryluehling.