It’s Okay For Your Child to Struggle with Math


What does math problem-solving look like for your child’s child? Most parents have experienced frustration working with children who get stuck on a problem, no matter how proficient they are. We’re often asked by educators what the right way to answer a problem is.

The “Helping” Problem

Parents are often quick to jump in and take over thinking, hoping to see children succeed. But is this really the best strategy? If you tell your children which strategy or tools are best, you are removing the challenge from them and inadvertently interfering in the learning process.

Parents may find it difficult to let their kids work productively. However, this does benefit them as they gain math knowledge and become independent problem solvers. How can this be applied in everyday life? Allow children to learn mathematical concepts and don’t save them from discomfort.

Math can be a difficult subject for children to understand, but it’s important for them to try if they want to succeed in life. The best way for them to learn is by solving problems and making math real for them. This is why it’s okay for your child to struggle with math. It will help him or her to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and mathematical understanding. As long as your child is learning and growing, you can be sure that he or she is doing great.

Here’s What You Can Do Instead?

You can think of a child who likes sports. It’s possible to take your child to a game of basketball to see how a professional makes a foul shot. But, you and your children know that the best way to improve your skills is to shoot free throws. This means that they can’t be taken out of the game by anyone else.

Giving children the correct answer or exact path to solving a homework problem is a way to deny them the ability to understand the math that they are studying. It is perfectly normal and helpful for students to struggle and take the time to find the right solution and problem. It is part of learning.

Although we expect success immediately, that would only show us that a student can do a task well. When children are asked to think deeply, draw connections, and use tools strategically to solve a difficult problem, they learn the real meaning of learning.

Educator-Approved Tip

Students learn persistence and resilience by being able to approach problems and come up with solutions. It’s a lot like playing board games with children. They know they won’t win every game and that failure is part of the game. They learn strategies over time and become better as they go.

When Working With Your Child, This Is What You Should Do:

Allow yourself to take care of your household or work while you are away. You will then be able to return to see how they are doing.

Support can be very helpful for someone who is truly stuck. Be sure to offer support in a way that encourages thinking and reasoning.

You can encourage your child’s thinking and ask questions instead of trying to guide them through the process. For example, ask your child what knowledge they have about the problem and what information they wish they had so that they can make progress in solving it. It’s possible that they will be able to “unstick” them without stopping them from learning.

Both parents and children face difficult times. Parents can relate to the need to comfort and support their children. However, we must make sure we are doing so in ways that will bring long-term results, not short-term victories that won’t last.

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