Wandering through the mathematical thoughts of my brain has led me to share my pet hate on speaking to parents! Don't get me wrong this is a vital part of teaching and can be used very effectively but there is one phrase I just don't get... "I was never any good at maths at school so....."
1) This automatically gives your child a reason to accept poor results. I feel like asking were you good at tidying your room as a child? No? Well stop asking your son/daughter to do it!
2) Children don't have to turn out exactly like their parents. When my dad was younger he could run the 100m in less than 11.5 seconds. I never have, in fact when I passed my driving test I don't think I even drove that fast!
3) Ability is not fixed. There was a time I couldn't do my timetables - but I worked hard and learnt them. There was a time I couldn't solve linear equations - but I worked hard and learnt how to. There was a time I couldn't find the area under a curve - but guess what... you get the picture.
So next time you are about to say I couldn't do.... think: Why don't I be positive about it so my children can turn round and say to theirs "I worked hard at school and learnt how to do..."