Psychology Today: Why Does My Child Hate Math?



In his recent three-part series for Psychology Today, Dr. Shanker takes on the topic of math from a Self-Reg perspective. 
In The Giant Leap, he discusses how math shouldn't be seen as merely a compulsory subject, but an enriching mental experience. In Is This Truly a Matter of Hatred?, he explains why so many children today are going into fight-or-flight at the mere thought of doing math. In What Can I Do About It?, he discusses how to help a child with a kindled math alarm

PART I: The "giant leap"

DOCTOR #1: Who are you? Why aren't you masked? Who are these people?
DOCTOR #2: I don't know.
DOCTOR #1: What the hell is that? What are you doing? 

McCOY: Tearing of the middle meningeal artery.
DOCTOR #1: What's your degree in, dentistry?
McCOY: How do you explain slowing pulse, low respiratory rate, and coma?

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PART II: Is this truly a matter of hatred?

Children are going into fight-or-flight at the mere thought of doing math. Self-Reg helps us to understand why this is happening and what we might do about it.

An alarmingly large number of early learners have come to abhor math by Grade 3: they have developed what is referred to as “High Math Anxiety” (HMA).


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PART III: What can I do about it?

How can we help a child with a kindled math alarm? How can we prevent this from happening in the first place?

In his classic, The Myth of Laziness, Mel Levine made the critical point that when a young child gives up on arithmetic, it's a sign, not that he is not trying hard enough, but rather that he is trying too hard and expending too much energy.

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