Middle school is an important and exciting period in a child’s and parent’s life. Students in middle school are on their way to becoming independent and developing personal goals and interests. It is at this age that they begin to prepare for high school and future life. Unfortunately, so many teens struggle with anxiety and behavioral problems. It is easy for middle school students to lack self-esteem since they tend to compare themselves to other people—parents of middle school students of this level report more rebellion and poor performance. As a parent, it is vital to know what your child is going through so that you can offer appropriate support.
Middle school students may never do well in math if they don’t believe that they can learn and understand the subject. Likewise, people think that a child cannot perform well in math if they don’t have an innate ability. There is also a mindset that people’s intelligence and skills cannot evolve, develop, or be altered. Nevertheless, all these beliefs are wrong.
A person’s knowledge and brightness can be changed through mindset growth. A preteen’s mindset can improve through hard work, practice, and study. Mathematical confidence is only achieved through the development of perspective. You can help your middle school child to improve their confidence in math through the following steps:
I. BE SUPPORTIVE
While students in middle school are critical thinkers, they are more likely to resist authority and fight for their independence. This age group may not be willing to speak about their weakness in math or any part of their lives. Patience is a key component when trying to build their love for math. Remember, we all have been at some point in life where we were struggling with something. At that moment, you probably felt frustrated or disappointed. The same case happens to preteens struggling with math. The lack of patience of middle school students makes things worse, for they become more frustrated and suffer more anxiety. Students at this age also tend to perform poorly on subjects when they can not meet expectations. Setting reachable goals one step simultaneously sets the stage naturally for a supportive parent and middle schooler relationship.
II. BE INVOLVED
As a parent, you should not hesitate to engage your child in their school activities. Make it a norm to inquire how your child is doing in school and what challenges they face. While preteens may not be the most approachable, they will become still corporate with you if they sense that you care and respect them. Middle Schoolers struggle to express their vulnerability with various topics, especially school subjects like math that illuminate a struggle and weakness. When independence is vital for your middle schooler, becoming a parent they can confide in becomes pressing. Let them select a time when you can both sit and discuss their problems. Let them know that it is okay not to know everything and that we are all in a learning process. You can also encourage them to get private tutors to help them understand the math subject better.
III. USE MATH IN REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS
Find a way to normalize mathematics. Let your child view it as an essential subject, just like the rest. Avoid saying negative things about the topic or criticizing their performance. Instead, try to make math a part of life. For example, let them calculate their school budget and other essentials in the house. You can also identify and solve some math problems with your child but in an informal and non-threatening manner. Middle school students may seem arrogant and too independent, but they need love and care more than ever.
IV. BE PATIENT
When you are alerted that your child is struggling with math, it is more likely that you will want to fix things fast. You may also be tempted to confront your child for poor performance. Nevertheless, too much rush or authority can put things off balance and worsen the situation. Instead, take your time as a parent to understand what could be challenging your child before determining the best solution. Patience and taking things slow facilitate more knowledge, enhancing your chance to improve your child’s confidence.
Middle school is the learning level where students develop either love or hate for different subjects. If they cannot build a solid conceptual understanding of math concepts, they will struggle with the subject for the rest of their lives. As such, helping your middle school child build confidence in math improves their performance and prepares them for future success and growth.