Seth Godin wrote in his blog post The First Fifteen Minutes:
Learning something new is frustrating. It involves being dumb on the way to being smart.
Wow – that’s the core of math learning!
As parents, we forget that we were dumb about so many things. And we forget that it’s okay to be dumb, because once you work hard, you become smart. Or at least not-so-dumb.
And if you still feel inadequate about math, you’re just still on your way to being smart.
Don’t beat yourself up.
Right now I’m pretty darn dumb at video editing. But I’m on my way to smart.
And I’m working hard at it because I know it’ll be helpful. My video courses will help you understand more about this crazy new math.
I do it for you. So our kids can grow up confident in math.
Screaming doesn’t help.
Sometimes I want to scream with frustration.
But I push through.
Complaining does help, sometimes. But nobody wants to listen to it.
And my complaining isn’t helpful for others to hear, either.
Just like your road to learning more about math learning and teaching. (And isn’t that what helping your kid with homework is – math teaching?)
It doesn’t do any good for your kids to hear you complain about it.
And, really, it doesn’t help you either.
Unless you do it right.
Helpful complaining is an art.
ARG! This math is frustrating! I want to scream!
But I know if I push through I can get it. And we’ll both learn something.
Okay, I can do this. Let’s read the problem again.
You don’t have to pretend to not be frustrated. You just have to also verbalize your willingness to be dumb on the way to being smart.
Practice it. And watch the results in your kids!
P.S. If you are frustrated and want to push through, join the Facebook group Empowering Parents to Tackle Math.
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