What is Stage Fright? It is defined as the fear of speaking or performing in front of others. It happens to a lot of children. Adults get it too but it is easier to fix in kids than in adults. Parents can just get butterflies looking at their kid get on the stage. Children who have difficulties with public speaking may continue to struggle with this anxiety throughout school and on into adulthood.
We cannot expect all the kids to become star performers but there are still some things all of us can do to help our kids with stage fright.
- Participating is Fun – Make it very clear to your child that the only reason he has to participate is to enjoy the experience and that it will be lots of fun if he joins his friends in the performance.
- Practice makes perfect – There is a reason for all the rehearsals that go on before an event. For every practice done at home – just casually throw in the fact that you are proud of him just for the fact that he is doing this and that it will be a joy to see him on stage.
- Encouragement and appreciation – When your child is practicing at home, be an encouraging audience. Appreciate the efforts that he puts in. All the practices should culminate in lots of hugs… lots of encouragements and lots of fun.
- Refrain from critically analysing their practice sessions – It is okay to suggest one or two improvements but a long list of improvisations is a big NO. You will get a lot of chances to do that so control the urge to be a perfectionist.
- Be a role model – It would help if you could do public speaking in front of your kids as it will give them the confidence that if you can do it so can they.
Instill this confidence in your children that even if they forget their lines or get nervous, there is at least one person in the audience who thinks that they are wonderful.