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Your child took part in a poem reciting competition, he started with 'Twinkle Twinkle' but froze after the first line. You made your child learn the story of 'Cinderella' for her story telling competition, but all your efforts went in vain as she forgot the lines on stage and started trembling. Why did this happen? Who's responsible for this?
Well, the answer to all your queries here is Stage Fear or Stage Phobia; a temporary anxiety that makes a person fail to express his thoughts or action before a group of people or audience. Stage fear is a common thing and can be traced among all age groups, be it a child or grownup. The fear and anxiety one experiences while on stage can for sure sound a tad difficult. However; overcoming the same is not that a big problem, provided you tackle it the right way.
When it comes to kids, they certainly need to overcome this fear or else they'll always remain shy and fail in expressing themselves. School is the place which will help them develop in many aspects, so ensure that all those years are used wisely and beneficially.
There can be many reasons why your child experiences a stage fear. Some of them could be:
Overcoming the stage fear in kids: Steps parents should take
Identify the root problem of the fear: To begin with, first get to know what exactly causes the stage fear in your child. Figure out if it is the fear of the audience, poor preparation, the appearance or any other factor.
Troubleshoot the root problem: If it is the poor preparation that bothers your child, then sit with him and help him in practicing his act. Let him repeat it till he is confident enough. If it's the appearance that he is bothered about, then try and find out a solution for the same. You can speak to his teacher and take needed help. However, if his fear is all due to the audience then the further steps will be of more help. Read on.
Dealing with audience fear, go for rehearsals: Now that you have figured your child is afraid of performing in front of the audience, help him overcome this fear. This can be tackled easily by doing some rehearsals and mock acts. You can make him perform before a few people, they can be from your family, distant relatives, friends or for that matter the known people from your neighborhood.
Offer positive feedback: There are chances that child will surely feel nervous in front of known people as well. However, with positive feedback and encouragement, you can help him perform with ease. Ensure that you don't criticize any of this act. Let him do it freely and applaud his effort. Point out the mistakes in a positive and constructive manner. Instead of saying 'Why can't you do it properly' try saying 'Wow! You are so good. If you say it louder, you will look more impressive'. Always praise his efforts so that he can feel motivated.
Don't let him feel only winning matters: Participation matters a lot than winning. After all; everyone can't be a winner, as the winner will always be one. Teach your child that participation values a lot and it's not just about winning always. One has to put in the true and genuine efforts. When he will perform without the fear of failure, he will never be scared.
Despite following all the rules of defeating stage fear, your child can still face any last minute anxiety and that's very common. To ensure that he wins over his fear on the day of performance, follow the given tips: