Math is Not Simple

Our son really struggles with math. It might as well be the first time he’s seen it every time we need to sit down to do a lesson. You can see the frustration on his face often before we even get started.


There are just some things in our life that are not that simple for us aren’t there?


Hi, my name is Amy and I’m the owner of Dragonspit Apothecary. My goal is to live as naturally as I can every day and this is my video log sharing with you a part of that journey.


Math is the thing for our son that really gives him a time. There are things in my life too that. As in I have a list of things that are like that. Those things that I’m just not that good at and they take me a while to get done because of that. These are things that I have practiced but sometimes no matter how hard you try they just don’t seem to get easier.


I like to think at a certain point those things that we don’t do well can get easier. It is what I tell my son when he starts to get frustrated with his 4th grade math. It is very easy though to think that advice doesn’t always work in “real life.”


Yet is that true?


While some things may be frustrating for us, do we ever get to the point we master them or do we master the frustration only?


See for my son right now he’s mastering the frustration of 4th grade math. He knows as soon as we say the word math it’s going to be terrible. There will be tears and lots of time spent working out problems where he is just frustrated. Math is not going to ever be easier he thinks.


That’s when I realized how I often let those same things stop me from mastering things too. When I master being frustrated at something and lose the ability to master the thing instead.


Oh I think I’m trying and I think I’m giving it my best but in reality I’m really just fine-tuning my frustration about it. It was one of those aha moments I had recently helping my son work on some division this summer that has really stuck with me.


I started looking at all the things I get easily frustrated with and realizing that I do this very same thing as my son when it comes to his math. I know I’m going to be frustrated by it, nothing is going to work out with it and well I might as well just get worked up about it now.


This applies to the latest diet I tried that clearly I can’t stick to and got frustrated with so I gave up.


It also applies to the sticky cabinet door I have where I have to really yank to open it because I haven’t figured out how to loosen the hinge just right to make it easier.


I think sometimes we really forget to see the challenge of something as more than just something that frustrates us.


We actually forget the simplicity of the process of learning something new and how to do something differently because we have gotten wrapped around just being frustrated by it.


Realizing this helped me change my approach to helping my son with his math, which by the way I’m not really good at math either so this took some time to figure out.


I also realized that it isn’t the diet that is frustrating me but my own resistance to it that is getting in the way of me finding a way to make progress with it. I am in my own way of learning to eat differently and that is frustrating me.


So, the next time you run into a math is hard situation, ask yourself if you are getting frustrated because you’re not figuring it out easily or if you’re just used to being frustrated with it. Perhaps the new thing is hard and it will take more than one time to get it but keep practicing it. Keep sticking with that diet when you fall off of it and instead of getting frustrated about it not going smoothly, look at how you can try it a new way.


Learning is natural but sometimes our desire for instant easy results creates this frustration that just builds to the point we think it is hopeless.


My friend, learning is natural and so is taking it in stride that we all will not get it right the first time through. It may take several times to figure it out but use each time as a fresh opportunity to learn and be open to the experience of it.


Until next time friends, live and learn naturally.

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