Carol Dweck on “I’m bad at math!”

Stanford researcher and Mindset author Carol Dweck says when kids utter this common refrain, one powerful word can change everything.
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Sadly, too many children say, “I’m bad at math!” or “Why am I so bad at math?” or the like. While math anxiety and all-out math hatred are a major problem in the U.S., there are things parents can do. In the moment, Stanford Researcher Carol Dweck advises parents to say, “No, you just haven’t learned how to do this yet.”

Watch how Dweck explains the power of “yet”.

But don’t stop there! Did you know that the number one way parents can help their kids with math skills is to have a positive attitude about math? Math anxiety is something we can pass along to our kids, but so is optimism about math! Think about the way you talk about math (and your own math skills) at home, and try to keep your language less negative, more neutral and/or positive.

Learn more about the best ways to help your child with math homework, how to incorporate math talk into daily life, how to help your child be good at math (even if you’re not), and check out these 10 great online math games. In addition, has hundreds of PK-5th grade math worksheets available for free!

Want more? How 4 other parenting experts say to respond…


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Deborah Tillman
America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman says that when a child is struggling with math — or any subject — parents need to step in quickly to help. Here’s how. Format: Video (1:20)

Danica McKellar
“Math isn’t for nerds!” says Danica McKellar, best-selling author of Kiss My Math. She wants kids, especially girls, to know they can learn to love math. Format: Article

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Erica Reischer
Instead of focusing on whether they’re “good” or “bad” at something, help kids see the value of hard work, says parent coach and psychologist Erica Reischer. Format: Video (1:41)

Kalid Azad
Math whiz Kalid Azad says the best response to this lament is to help kids discover math in the world around them. Format: Article

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