If Not Careful, Parents Can Contribute to Their Child’s Math Anxiety

Sep 14, 2020 | Schertz

Whether assisting with homework, discussing the newest math concept at the dinner table, or dropping off their child at Mathnasium, parents play a major role in their students' math development. But if parents shudder at the thought of mathematics, they can pass this dread of math on to their children. 

A series of studies by psychologists at the University of Chicago found that “students whose parents reported high math anxiety made significantly less progress in math over the course of a year, and they were more likely to become anxious themselves-but only if their anxious parents sweated through helping them with homework.”

Even in cases where math-anxious parents possess the knowledge needed to solve a problem, their underlying dread of math can still hinder their children’s overall enjoyment of math. If a parent is walking around saying “Oh, I never liked math,” their kids can pick up on the messaging and allow it to affect their own success. 

We know that parents are always mindful of their words when around their children, but we must keep up this practice even when discussing seemingly small things like a child's frustration with math.


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