Commentary: Math doesn’t have to be cringeworthy

Parents, one easy actionable thing you can do to help your child succeed in mathematics is to speak positively about the experience. Saying “I wasn’t good at math, so it’s okay that you’re not either” to your child can create a negative, fixed mindset about math for a child. We encourage parents to instead share messages like, “I know it may feel like a difficult challenge, but you can do it.” If your child says, “I can’t do this math problem,” help them adapt their language by saying, “You can’t do this math problem yet.” Acknowledging the difficulty they feel is fine — but it’s important to their learning to praise their effort and remind them they are capable of learning and doing well.

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