What not to say about math

Got math anxiety? Chances are you're passing it on to your kids. But there's hope — here are some do's and don'ts on how to talk to them about math.

Video transcript:

Child: “I need help.” [ECHOES]

[OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING]

Parent: “No!”
Child: “I need help. I don’t know how to do the diagram.”
Parent: “Diagram? Why do they make you do so much work just to answer a simple division question? I’m not a math person. Let’s wait till your mom gets home.”

[BUZZER]

Child: “I need help. I don’t know how to do the diagram.”
Parent: “Drawing in math class? That sounds like a fun way to learn math.”

[BELL RINGING]

Child: “Daddy, how much do you think this watermelon costs?”
Parent: “I don’t know. You know I didn’t get the math gene.”

[BUZZER]

Child: “Daddy, how much do you think this watermelon costs?”
Parent: “I don’t know. Why don’t we weigh it? And then we can
estimate the price based on the weight of the watermelon.”

[BELL RINGING]

Child: “How much longer until we get there?”
Parent: “Long”

[BUZZER]

Child: “How much longer until we get there?”
Parent: “Let’s figure it out. We’re driving 25 miles an hour. And we have about eight miles left. How much time do you think we have?”

[BELL RINGING]

Learn more:

If your child says “I’m bad at math” here’s what you should say.

Being good at math doesn’t mean just being able to do calculations quickly. Learn about what it really means to be good at math.

A 7-year-old girl is humiliated by her teacher after failing a math test. How many years will it take to cure her math anxiety? Read about Simone’s math problem.


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