Do your children keep their distance with mathematics? Would you wish to know how to help them? Helping children in mathematics can be a challenge for most of the parents because of their own fears regarding mathematics. In some families, children give up and try to make their parents do their homework for them.

Through the years, children seem to bring more and more mathematics homework. Yet what would happen if your children ask you “I need help with my mathematics school work?”. It is evident that parents are the first one called if their children are stuck with something they do not understand. It is not endurable to see your children struggling through certain questions they do not understand and it is natural to wish to help them out and intervene. However, as a parent, did you know that helping your children might actually be negative for them?

It is comprehensible that parents are worried about their children’s mathematics level, even from a really young age, and therefore that they want to help them. Nevertheless, they might need to start reconsidering the way they try to help their children. As stated by a new analysis in psychological science, the more anxious parents are when trying to help their children with their mathematics school work, the more harm they do.

The tendency even includes parents who are highly educated, with high skilled teachers, and at usually high-achieving schools.

To deduce this, researchers tested more than 800 Illinois pupils throughout their school year on their mathematics skills and anxiety, but also surveyed their parents on their own fears regarding mathematics, the frequency they were helping their kids, and their level of education.

Having anxious parents is not the only cause, the study shows that it is both the “mathematics anxiety” and the help provided by the parents that could explain the negative impact on the children. The effect of the parents’ anxiety is not enough significant when parents are not involved in the mathematics school work.

There are lots of different possible reasons for this effect. Parents with high mathematics anxiety are more likely to show negativity about the subject, which could discourage children. Their own fear of failure could also result in harder criticism when their children have difficulties. Moreover, they could also have created strict ways of solving problems, which clash with what the children learned at school.

The issue seems specific to mathematics, no same effect was noticed concerning reading, which was evaluated as well.

Common sense holds that the more invested parents are in their children’s education, the better. To improve a children’s mathematics level, parents that are repulsed by mathematics should not stop helping their children out, however, guidance on how to do so efficiently as well as more support should be provided to them.

Parents should provide help rather than straight answers

– You do not have to be a specialist in every subject and neither are the children

Parents should ask for help from tutors and professors to grasp how they are expected to provide help with their children’s homework. The education system has changed and methods have also been developed at an impressive rate because of better technologies, such as simple maths calculators, that can be a great help for the children to feel more secure and comfortable with mathematics school work. Therefore, parents no longer have lots of capacity to help their children with their homework.

– Enroll your children in private lessons

Tutoring sessions remove the pressure of helping the children with their homework every time. It reduces the number of quarrels with your children and they will learn how to deal with their difficulties based on how they are taught in school.

– Speak with the professors

If you realize that your children are struggling with their homework, speak with a professor. They know a lot about your children and they will give you advice on how to deal with the problem.

Then, do your children struggle with their homework? Do not worsen the situation by doing all their homework for them. Keep in mind that it’s a work given especially to them by the professor to find out if they understood what they were taught.