How to Overcome Stage Fright in Children
As long as not to extreme levels, jitters in children before a dance recital, school concert or class presentation, is common. How you (as a parent) deal with it, however, plays a major role in letting your child learn how to cope and overcome it.
Naturally, parents hate to see their children suffer from any sort of discomfort – many would move mountains to ease their child’s worries and fears by allowing them to avoid or run away from a situation triggering the anxiety. While this flight strategy works in the short-term, it doesn’t necessarily allow them to build the resilience they need to learn to cope with these normal levels of anxiety which are inevitable even in the later stages of their life. Here are some ways you can help your child overcome stage fright or performance anxiety.
Table of Contents
- No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article
- Prepare Them for Failure
- Help Them Rehearse
- Let Them Perform on the Same Stage Prior to the Final Performance
- Teach Them Relaxation Strategies
- Praise, Praise, Praise!
- Meanwhile, Check Out Tropika Club’s Ecosystem of Websites
No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article
- What is stage fright and why it happens: Stage fright is a common fear of performing in front of an audience, caused by anxiety, self-doubt, and lack of preparation.
- How to identify stage fright in children: Some signs of stage fright in children are trembling, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, and avoidance of eye contact.
- How to help children overcome stage fright: Some tips to help children overcome stage fright are encouraging them to practice, giving them positive feedback, teaching them relaxation techniques, exposing them to different audiences, and being supportive and understanding.
- How to prevent stage fright in children: Some ways to prevent stage fright in children are building their confidence, helping them set realistic goals, creating a safe and fun environment for learning, and avoiding negative criticism or comparison.
Rather than respond to your child’s nervousness with phrases like “Don’t worry,” or, “Don’t be silly.”, explain to them that the jitters they are experiencing are normal. Empathise with them and comfort them by offering to help figure out ways to cope.
Prepare Them for Failure
Don’t take this literally – we don’t mean intentionally set them up for public humiliation. Rather, this preparation is in the sense of reminding them that at the end of the day we are all human beings, that they won’t be punished for not doing well and that it’s not the end of the world should they make a mistake in their final performance.
Reassure them that you’re proud of their hard work, will love them, and be immensely proud of them no matter what the outcome is. Doing this alone can do wonders in taking some weight off their shoulders, and easing their anxiety.
Help Them Rehearse
The more confident your child feels doing their routine or presentation, the more confident (and excited) they will feel doing it up on stage and in front of a crowd. As a parent, you can help them prepare for a recital or presentation by getting involved in the process leading up to the final performance. Allow them to rehearse in front of you, then praise them and give them some constructive feedback. As they improve, praise them again to boost their confidence and reassure them.
Not only will getting involved help to prevent or reduce instances of performance anxiety in children of any age, but it’s also a great way for you to bond with your child.
Let Them Perform on the Same Stage Prior to the Final Performance
If at all possible, try to find an opportunity for your child to rehearse on the actual stage that the final performance will be done on. By doing this, the child can familiarise themselves with the venue, and this can hopefully make the experience of the final performance overall easier and less nerve-racking.
Teach Them Relaxation Strategies
Performances should be a fun and exciting experience for your children. The more relaxed your child is for his/her recital, the more of a pleasant experience it will be. If your child struggles to relax before a performance, teaching your child relaxation strategies can be of great help.
Knowing how and when to use relaxation strategies are useful in many anxiety-provoking scenarios, not just for children, but for people of all ages. Whether it’s through breathing techniques, positive visualisation or meditation, anything that can help your child take their mind off their nervousness of going up on stage can aid greatly performance anxiety.
Praise, Praise, Praise!
Sometimes, a little bit of praise from mum and dad is all a child is looking for. Make a conscious effort to express to your child just how proud of them you are, both in the lead-up to the final performance and after it. Your enthusiasm and encouragement can go a long way in helping your child feel good about themselves rather than nervous for their upcoming performance.
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Stage fright is not something that children have to suffer from forever. With the right guidance, support, and practice, they can learn to overcome their fears and enjoy performing in front of others. Performing can be a great way for children to express themselves, develop their skills, and have fun. It can also boost their self-esteem, confidence, and creativity. That’s why at Tropika Club Magazine, we want to help parents and teachers to help their children overcome stage fright and unleash their potential. We hope you found this article useful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And don’t forget to check out our other articles on parenting, education, and lifestyle at Tropika Club Magazine. Thank you for reading and have a great day! 😊
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is stage fright and why does it happen?
A: Stage fright is a common fear of performing in front of an audience, caused by anxiety, self-doubt, and lack of preparation. It can affect children of any age and in any situation where they have to speak or perform in public.
Q: How can I tell if my child has stage fright?
A: Some signs of stage fright in children are trembling, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, and avoidance of eye contact. Your child may also express negative thoughts or feelings about themselves or their performance, such as “I can’t do this”, “I’m going to fail”, or “Everyone will laugh at me”.
Q: How can I help my child overcome stage fright?
A: There are many ways you can help your child overcome stage fright, such as:
- Empathise with them and comfort them by explaining that the jitters they are experiencing are normal and that you are proud of them no matter what.
- Help them prepare for their performance by rehearsing with them, giving them positive feedback, and teaching them relaxation techniques.
- Let them perform on the same stage prior to the final performance if possible, so they can familiarise themselves with the venue and feel more comfortable.
- Praise them for their effort and improvement, and avoid negative criticism or comparison.
Q: How can I prevent stage fright in my child?
A: You can prevent stage fright in your child by:
- Building their confidence and self-esteem by encouraging them to pursue their interests and talents, and celebrating their achievements.
- Helping them set realistic and attainable goals for their performance, and focusing on the process rather than the outcome.
- Creating a safe and fun environment for learning and practicing, where they can make mistakes without fear of judgment or ridicule.
- Avoiding overloading them with too many activities or expectations that may stress them out or overwhelm them.
Q: Where can I find more resources on stage fright in children?
A: You can find more resources on stage fright in children at:
- Psychology Today Singapore: This website offers articles and tips on how to cope with stage fright and other forms of social anxiety.
- Tropika Club Magazine: This online magazine features articles on parenting, education, lifestyle, and more. You can also check out our other articles on how to help your child with homework, bullying, and stress.
- All That Jazz Dance Academy: This dance school offers classes for children of all ages and levels, where they can learn to dance with confidence and joy. They also provide opportunities for students to perform in recitals and competitions.
Meanwhile, Check Out Tropika Club’s Ecosystem of Websites
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