I Can’t Do It Because… Maths Is Boring!

I Can't Do It Because… Maths Is Boring!

By Donovan Grant

 "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." ~ John Wooden

“I can’t do it!”

 “It’s too hard”

 “I said I don’t understand it”

What do you do when your own child is blasting out all of these get in from work and that’s the first thing you hear?

The lovely son that you know is capable of doing the maths homework is ‘throwing a wobbly’. Just a few days before he came home saying that he scored top marks in a test, yet today ‘he can’t do it!’

This is how I was greeted recently by my son Emmanuel when I got in. As a parent, you know what your child is capable of. Jen and I knew that he could do it. But today, it was a case no “I can’t do it!”

Mum was a bit frustrated by now because she’s been in the fire line for the past 30 minutes or so. Now it was the stage where your child is showing signs of an attitude that is totally alien. So now it’s your turn to ‘do the work’.

Parenting is not always however it is character building. Our aim is to raise children who have a better chance of success than average. We want to give them the best start in life that we can. We want them to develop responsibility and independence. Sometimes to do this, we have to work through tough challenges when they occur rather than just leaving them to fester.

Are they just excuses that children are making?

When our children make excuse, we owe to them not to let them get away with it. It would not be fair on the children. The better option is to help them identify what the underlying problem is and handle it. Most of the time there always is something lurking beneath the surface.

When we allow children to make excuses and not follow through with their task; we are saying that it’s ok to lie to themselves. This may sound a bit harsh to you and that’s ok. The thing is if kids continue to quit or do something less boring every time work gets too hard, it will become a habit. If the excuse really habit sets in, eventually our children will carry a seed of laziness within them.

Our job is catch the ‘excuse seed’ while it’s little

When we choose not to intervene, we become part of the problem. Its part of our job spec to talk to our youth and explain to them that facing our challenges is an important part of growing up. And there is always a way to resolve problems. It’s really up to us to share messages like the sowing and reaping of seeds.

Emmanuel has got a lot of natural leadership tendencies and he enjoys doing his best. Whether he’s play soccer, tennis or doing a spelling test he wants to do his best. So when he says, “I can’t do it” there’s always an issue that is bothering him. After some gentle inquiry, he reported that he always finishes maths questions early and he has to sit waiting for everyone else. Maths had become boring for him because he was not being challenged at school.

Maths is a favourite topic for him so, we were concerned. Jen made an appointment to see his teach and the issue was addressed in order to keep Emmanuel interested in Maths.

We were lucky to catch this potential problem early. It showed up as an excuse and ended up being that a growing young boy was not challenged by his school work.

Consider these questions for a moment…

How many of our children lose interest in work because they are not mentally or emotionally stimulated by their school work?

In the UK and I am sure around the world there is an increasing number of children who are being excluded or suspended from school. Evidence shows that this is worse for boys than girls. Many of these children get left behind their peers and never catch up. What if these “bad kids” are only bad because they are not being stimulated and challenged appropriately?

Do what it takes to make your child a success

One of the messages that we share with youth in our youth programs is about building self-esteem, self-confidence and speaking up when they have a problem. They get to learn that there is a difference between being a brat and having the power to stand up for themselves. The development of the child is key.

Please comment below and let me know what you what excites you about being a parent! And if you will, share a tip of how you help your child to cope with boredom or making excuse!

I am passionate about helping families succeed! Let's do this together!




Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com

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  • Hey Donovan such a great post.  Keep it up, wish you a great success. 

  • Hi Courtney, it’s nice to connect with you. Thanks a lot for the well wishes, it means a lot to me!

  • Thanks for stopping by Courtney. Your inspiring words are just the motivation to keep us going!