The subject that I am discussing tonight with you is something called "math anxiety." I definitely know it exists and it can be defined as the overstressing or fear of being able to perform and solve math problems correctly. I have seen this displayed in both boys and girls, but more often it rears its "ugly head" in girls. I believe it has alot to do with the overall general expectations and sterotypes that our society still holds for both boys and girls. Even today, in the 21st century, the idea of girls not being as good at or adept to math as boys, is still very prevalent and it shows in many girls.
The first symptoms of "math anxiety" show -up in mutterings and feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence and sometimes the actual words - "I can't do this or this is too hard for me to do." The treatment to counter these feelings is to provide positive support and reassurance that the child can learn how to do these problems and that you or your tutor will be there to step them through these problems - one step at a time and that the process will take place at the pace that the child is comfortable with - not the pace that other children learn at.
Another symptom that can show itself is when the child makes a feable attempt to try to solve the problem and then quits in the middle of solving it by proclaiming that it is too difficult for he or she and that he or she just can't learn and then he or she will attempt to give-up and to persuade you to give-up too. The treatment for this symptom is to again to provide support and encouragement and to ask the child to demonstrate what steps they do know and what steps they are having difficulty with and then review these steps again until the child feel competent enough to solve the problems.
Anyone combating this very common problem. teacher, tutor or parent, needs to tackle it best by being patient, keeping a level head, providing verbal encouragement along with a smile and finally, determining the best pace and methods of teaching for the individual child at hand! These few words about this topic should help your child or student greatly, it works greatly with my students and children! Try it with yours today!