Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. math worksheet. By Fabienne Langlois.
Where does this anxiety start? One factor may be that children haven’t developed positive associations with math before they start school, they way they do with reading. While parents read with children and help them develop reading skills, doing math for fun with parents at home is almost unheard of. When children encounter math at school, the concepts are often entirely new, and the only preparation they will have received are the messages they might have picked up from others, like the idea that math is really hard, or girls aren’t good at math.
Taken together, these two ideas — that math is important and that success in math is rare — are a perfect way to make kids anxious about math. And we know that once kids are feeling worried about something, learning it becomes harder.
“Anxiety really can impact a lot of the things that are important for learning, like attention, memory and processing speed,” says Matthew Pagirsky, PsyD, a neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Feeling anxious also makes people develop self-defeating thoughts like “I’m not good at this” and “I’ll never be able to understand this,” which increases the stress they are feeling.
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