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Face the Fear to Get Ahead

child struggles to learn

Fear can strike at any time, can’t it? And it can be so debilitating. After all, if you tell yourself often enough that you are:

  • No good at something
  • Can’t do it

…. you start believing it. Our children, too, can get caught up in a cycle of negative thinking about school. Left to fester, fear of failure can become a huge problem.

As accomplished tutors, we regularly work with students who have built up fear – even a phobia – about a subject such as Maths, that it’s stopped them from progressing. A serious issue – and one which doesn’t just go away by itself.

How to Spot Subject Anxiety

If you’re wondering whether your child has been felled by fear, here are a few clues. They might:

  • Avoid talking about the subject
  • Leave that subject homework until last
  • React angrily to or speak negatively about their teacher
  • Belittle themselves all the time

Watching your child persecute themselves in this way can be tough, especially when your son or daughter rebukes your offers of help.

Steps to Break Down Fear

  1. Stay calm – however frustrating it feels when your child reacts negatively. Share a time when you felt scared about something at school – and look at you now. This can help them avoid catastrophising, and realise that they are not alone.
  2. Break down the subject into basic skills, then focus on learning those.
  3. Work as a team. Decompress homework fear by saying, ‘Let’s do this together…’ Praise praise praise for anything your child does right.
  4. Normalise failure. Explain that nobody gets everything right all of the time. In fact, failing in life offers an opportunity to prove to the world that we refuse to be beaten by it. Changing a mindset takes time, but it can be done. Check out these famous one-time failures. Some surprising faces in there…
  5. Consider private tuition. Because children hate drawing attention to their problems in class, it’s incredible how so many will share their vulnerability with a tutor at home. With a kind word or an understanding nod, a tutor can break down a problem into steps to help your child face their fear and replace it with confidence.

When you need help with any of these options, don’t despair. Help is at hand from the most wonderful tutors across Manchester and Cheshire – or available online wherever you are. Contact 121 Home Tutors here.

Of course, if you are concerned about your child’s mental health, there is support out there. Reach out to the NSPCC here if you’re desperately worried.

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