How to overcome stage fright in children
We find many children often scared of going and speaking in public. While a few can carry out the same task with much confidence not all can do the same. Few children are just not afraid then can speak in front of a crowd with great confidence and qualm. Maybe that's what is utterly important for overcoming stage fright. A dash of confidence and qualm! But this tow qualities are definitely not enough for speaking in front of a crowd without fear. With confidence you need great preparation as well as good communication skills. Once you have it all then nothing stops you from handling the crowd. However even if your child has excellent communication skills and has done a good preparation, yet there may be a chance that he may just be unable to perform on stage because of the stage fright. Stage fright can actually ruin a lot for children and such children are not able to express themselves and often remain shy in their school years.
This is been seen in many children, in most cases parents help the children to prepare well for a school speech, and at home the child confidently speaks out and gets appreciation from parents. But the same child when left on stage in front of his school mates, teachers and other guests starts shying or even starts but somehow forgets the next lines and comes back feeling guilty. In certain cases a child may even complaint stomach-aches or any such sickness to avoid walking over the stage and addressing people. This is a normal situation faced by many parents and the only reason why a child would do so is because of the stage fright.
What exactly is stage fright in children
Stage fright in children is a feeling of nervousness or anxiety while performing or even just planning to perform. Most children get sick with just an idea of performing in front of others. Stage Fright can be classified as just a type of phobia where a child gets jitters about performing in front of the crowd.
Symptoms of stage fright in children
Few symptoms that parents can observe in children with stage fright include:
- Trembling hands
- Sweaty hands
- Breathlessness or heavy breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Rise in blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Stomachaches or even diarrhea
Causes of stage fright in children
There are many reasons why a child would experience a stage fright. Here are few of these reasons that explain that a child may experience a stage fright because:
- The child is not sure about performing well.
- The child is sure about being a complete failure on stage
- The child compares himself with other children who perform better and considers himself to be a no match to them.
- The child is worried that he or she would forget the lines in the middle of the speech or forget the steps in the middle of the performance.
- The child is worried about the reaction of the audience and thinks that they would laugh or tease him.
- The child is not happy with his own appearance.
- The child is worried about negative feed-backs from the audience.
Once you are aware of the symptoms and causes of stage fright in children, and if you observe the same in your child it's time to take certain actions. One can easily help the child to overcome stage fright and parents can definitely help their children to overcome stage fright.
Try to learn your child's fears
This will be the first step that any parent should take once they observe the symptoms of stage fright in children. Try to learn what the reason is for the child being so scared about performing on the stage. Whether it is about the appearance or feeling of nervousness or even about loss of confidence that is bothering your child. Try to talk to the child and once you learn the exact reason help him out with the same.
Help your child to prepare
It is very important that parents actively help their child to prepare for the performance. This ensures the parents that at least their child would not forget lines of his speech in the middle. This at least assures the parents that the preparation was not the reason for the child to be stage frightened and it is something different. On the other hand once the child knows that he has prepared well, half of his fear is definitely going to vanish giving him enough confidence to perform.
Keep a check on his appearance
If it is the appearance that bothers your child, then see to it that you do keep a check on his appearance. Do dress him up well and get him ready for the performance as per the desired essentials of the performance.
Let your child perform on the same stage a day before the actual performance
If you can get a chance, allow the child to perform on the same stage where he is about to, right before the performance day. This way the child gets acquainted with the surroundings and feels less pressure on him about the performance.
Ask your child to focus on the performance
If it is the audience and their remarks that disturb a child and gives him stage fright then help your child by suggesting him to not to look upon them. Advice the child not to be concerned about the audience and other things within the surrounding but to focus on his performance. This will help him to perform better and remove the fright from his mind.
Encourage your child to participate in such events to overcome stage fright
Constantly keep encouraging your child to participate in more such events. Constant participation and practice will definitely help him to improve as well as to overcome the stage fright.
Help him to learn some relaxation techniques
Help your child to learn some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing to overcome stage fright. Ask your child to close his eyes and practice deep breathing at least 10 times before the performance. This will help him to gain calmness and will work better in terms of overcoming the stage fright.
Appreciate his performance
If after proper preparation and advice your child performs on the stage, appreciate his performance. Even if your child forgets few lines or his speech or few steps of his performance, don't shout or scold him. Instead appreciate him for the way he tried to do it and assure him that it would be much much better next time.
Assure your child know that you are there with him always
This assurance works really in a positive manner for your child. Assure your child how much you love him and how you will always stand by his side, no matter what. This assurance works as a therapy for your child and he is convinced that whatever may happen, even if he forgets few lines or steps there is at least one person who is going to cheer for him.