When I went back to college I was amazed at the recent high school grads who couldn't make a sentence that made sense of do even simple arithmetic.
I have witnessed this innumerable times: when the kids started taking arithmetic in school and came home telling the parent about it (also needing help) the parent says "arithmetic is so hard, I just hated it". What do you think that does to the child's attitude toward arithmetic? Yes, it is difficult at first, but if you loose the attitude, and do just a little work, you find its not really that hard at all. It seems to me that if the parent would get over their own resistance to learning math, the child would have a much better shot at it.