Happy December! As the holiday season is now at our doorstep, our calendars are filling up with school, church and community Christmas programs. Beyond the joy of celebration, these occasions can serve as remarkable opportunities for our children to conquer their fears and embrace the spotlight. Yes, I'm talking about stage fright!
Whether young or old, stage fright is a common occurrence. Speaking in front of a crowd is a fear that many adults have, and so we can't expect children to be immune from this fear. We can however help them work through this fear.
With the right approach, holiday events can be an opportunity to manage and eventually overcome stage fright. Our holiday events can become transformative experiences, fostering confidence and resilience in our kids.
Here are five tips to help children navigate stage fright during Christmas programs:
1. Encourage Preparation and Practice: Empower your child by encouraging practice sessions at home. Rehearsing their lines or performances builds familiarity and confidence with the material, reducing anxiety about the unknown. Create a comfortable space for practice and be their encouraging audience.
2. Teach Relaxation Techniques: Teach simple relaxation techniques to ease nervousness. Deep breathing exercises, visualization, or progressive muscle relaxation can help alleviate anxiety. Practice these techniques together to make them familiar and comforting for your child.
3. Foster a Supportive Environment: Create a supportive and encouraging environment at home. Offer positive affirmations, emphasizing the effort rather than perfection. Remind them that mistakes are part of the learning process and that everyone experiences nerves.
4. Gradual Exposure to Public Speaking: Start with smaller speaking opportunities to gradually build confidence. Encourage your child to speak at family gatherings or school events. These experiences will help them become more comfortable with public speaking, making the larger Christmas program less intimidating.
5. Focus on Enjoyment and Purpose: Shift the focus from fear to enjoyment and purpose. Discuss the significance of sharing their talents or stories with an audience. Encourage them to embrace the joy of performing and the opportunity to spread holiday cheer.
Remember, every child is unique, and their comfort levels may vary. Be patient and understanding, while offering support.
Christmas programs are not just about entertainment, they are also platforms for personal growth and empowerment.
Yolande Robinson, M.Ed.
Shifting Perspectives is a conversation with Yolande and Latasha that challenges Listeners to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live their lives.
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