It turns out that telling your kids that they can do something might actually have some effect on their real ability to to it.

Someone linked to this article last week, and it made me think. The fact is I was really good at math when I was a kid. I was a little behind on my times tables because of switching classes in Grade 3, but by Grade 7 I was really good at math. I got a 97 per cent in Grade 7 math. I loved algebra.

Then Grade 8 hit.

In Grade 8 math I did terribly. It didn’t make any sense, I was failing, the teacher had a meeting with me. My confidence died that year. Why? Well, I went from a 97 one year to barely passing the next, and around 10 of my classmates that year had similar problems in math.

Basically, looking back 20 years later, our teacher sucked.

Our teacher sucked, threw a large group of kids off track and I never got my math mojo back.

My daughter? She’s smart. Annoyingly so sometimes. We make an effort to tell her often how smart she is and why we think so. I am not letting someone else talk her out of that. If she decides she wants to be an astronaut – she loves space – then I will push her through math and science with all my might.

You want to be a math person? You’ll be a math person.

But I’m not taking Trig again.