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To want to know how to manage DS's desire to perform?

(37 Posts)
SolidGoldBrass Tue 02-Dec-14 23:35:56

He's 10 now and generally lovely. And I know that I was similar as a kid and still am really - he wants to Be A Star and loves an audience. He belongs to a choir group at school and he goes to a weekly drama class, so it's not like we are crushing his aspirations.
But he wants to perform all the time. Whenever I take him to a social gathering he wants to sing or dance and be watched and applauded. What I need is a tactful way of getting it across to him that not every event is about him and not every adult is going to indulgently watch someone else's kid hopping about. (He can sing quite nicely but his dancing is, well, like any 10 year old without either freakish talent or years of training).
Has anyone else got a kid like this? How do you strike the balance between not hurting your PFB's feelings and not driving all your acquaintances mad?

UsedtobeFeckless Tue 02-Dec-14 23:45:57

God yes - DS2 is convinced no event is complete without him and his guitar. He's not bad but I'm sure people are just humoring him and secretly wish he would shut up. One slightly pissed bloke at a scout barbeque got several minutes into a rant about that frigging hairy kid playing all the time before his wife's horrified expression got through to him and he ground to a halt ... sad

I can't say anything though. I just can't. He really loves it! Sorry world ( But not Bucketmouth BBQ Bloke - you won't see me coming. Wanker. )

CaoNiMa Wed 03-Dec-14 00:18:33

I think you can, Feckless! I was like this as a kid, and my parents had to take me in hand for the sanity of their friends and extended family at gatherings.

oldestmumaintheworld Wed 03-Dec-14 00:19:35

You can't afford to be tactful. Just say ' no, please sit down. People don't won't to listen to/watch you.'

That is unless you want your child to have no friends, be thought a complete prat/pain in the arse and you the worst, most indulgent parent on the planet. Which you clearly are not.

My DS is at school with a child like this and I cannot repeat on MN what the other kids call him.

DarceyBustle Wed 03-Dec-14 00:22:59

Oldestmum, go on tell us. We are vair discreet

oldestmumaintheworld Wed 03-Dec-14 00:27:07

I'll get thrown off MN, Darcey. My DS is 16 so language a bit 'choice'

Tobyjugg Wed 03-Dec-14 00:38:35

We had one like this at school. A better hated child you never saw. You have to tell him to his face that there is an appropriate time and place and that some events are best left without live entertainment. It'll be kinder in the long run. Have you thought about seeing if there's an amateur dramatics group that needs juveniles or even a youth theatre group near you, that might help.

LadyBlaBlah Wed 03-Dec-14 00:41:25

Give him a year, and senior school, and self consciousness will kick in and you'll be wishing he were up performing again because he loved it so much.

moonrocket Wed 03-Dec-14 00:46:23

My DD has a classmate like this. She does Stagecoach on a Saturday... she's a little more bearable this year! grin

She does love performing though, and it is delightful to see how earnest she is, how enthusiastic, and how much joy she gets from it but thank goodness she isn't mine.

MsAspreyDiamonds Wed 03-Dec-14 06:12:01

My cousin was like this as a child abd is still like this as an adult. As a child she was into singing and acting out scenes from musicals at every bloody opportunity. Drove us all mad & now that she has seen the light she is trying to convert us all with equal fervour. Sermons are another way for her to get the audience attention feeding her low self esteem.

I would address his self esteem & why he needs constant adoration. Build up his confidence in a positive way so that he accepts that not everybody wants to hear him sing.

ApocalypseThen Wed 03-Dec-14 06:20:35

Have you discussed how he'd feel if, for example, a junior star of the future used his birthday party as their chance to shine? It might make him think about how we don't always appreciate people trying to steal our show. And often, events are someone else's show.

Performances are best kept by request.

Monstamio Wed 03-Dec-14 06:35:51

Have you thought about enrolling him in a dance class in addition to the choir and drama? I realise time and finances might not allow for this but if he ends up wanting to pursue this route in the future then he really needs to get cracking with some formal training. Plus he will meet kids who have been doing it since age two or three which might put his own abilities into perspective somewhat...

daisychain01 Wed 03-Dec-14 06:49:03

I agree with the suggestion to continue to channel his creative energies into the right groups and activities with like minded people.
Also to talk to your D'S about keeping his performances to appropriate times and places rather than using every family gathering to display his talents!

I think it is the nature of extroverted people that they enjoy the attention. Nothing wrong as long as they also become self aware not self obsessed (said with kindness STB )

There was a video going viral this week of Roger Daltrey gate crashing someone's wedding and doing a turn I think his mum probably didnt have a word with him at the age of 10 grin

daisychain01 Wed 03-Dec-14 06:49:55

SGB

ChunkyPickle Wed 03-Dec-14 06:54:37

My DS1 is already like this at 4 - last Christmas he was most disappointed as we dragged him off to the kitchen to give everyone a break (he'd given a good 5 minute performance to assembled family, and was about to launch into another made up song!).

You do need to have a word as everyone says. At least at 10 you should be able to avoid wails of 'the show is woooined' (ruined) echoing around the kitchen.

SanityClause Wed 03-Dec-14 06:58:18

Rather than discouraging him from performing, per se, perhaps you could have a chat to him about making sure his performances are really good, and something people will really want to see.

I'm sure lots of people would really enjoy hearing one well rehearsed song, or poem or whatever.

And make sure he does get lots of chances to perform in a more formal setting, like concerts and plays.

Also, what about getting him to prepare for festivals of music or speech and drama, where he will get to perform, and get constructive comments about his performance from an adjudicator, to enable him to improve. (Perhaps not singing, unless he is having lessons, but I'm sure you could coach him through a drama performance, reading, or poetry recitation.)

defineme Wed 03-Dec-14 06:58:34

I think I would be kind but straight to the point... your singing is lovely, your dancing is getting better but there is a time and a place. Imagine if I got my poetry out at everything we went to or dd did her maths?However, your grandparents want to see you dance as much as possible.
He is 10- he needs telling before secondary school.

Bulbasaur Wed 03-Dec-14 07:03:00

Can you have a "time and place" talk with him? Let him know that general gatherings are not the time or place for performance, but on stage or with family is just fine?

skylark2 Wed 03-Dec-14 08:07:30

He's ten - I don't think you need to be especially tactful. Just tell him that people aren't there to listen to him, and ask him how he'd feel if when he wanted to play with his friends you got up and did a routine that he was expected to watch, and then his dad, and then his granny...

Whatdoiknowanyway Wed 03-Dec-14 08:17:37

I like Mr Bennet's approach in Pride and Prejudice

"That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough. Let the other young ladies have time to exhibit"

I had to stop inviting one family to parties because their children insisted on entertaining us and would NOT stop, crying when it was suggested.
For your son's sake, rein this in now!

UsedtobeFeckless Wed 03-Dec-14 09:32:58

You have delighted us long enough ... Genius. Good old Jane Austen. I'm off to practise.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 03-Dec-14 09:44:54

Thanks all. The other thing I probably should have mentioned (because it's going to start again in the spring) is that I am a morris dancer and have often had him with me when we go out and dance at events/festivals, and that's kind of Not Helping, because he struggles with the idea that people will watch us dance but not him, and though I have tried to explain that a team performing in their team costumes is a display, and that he 'hasn't learned the dances and isn't in the team' is the reason why he can't have a turn after us, it can still end in t ears...

UsedtobeFeckless Wed 03-Dec-14 09:56:20

My brother's in a Goth Morris side and most of their dances involve swinging sticks at each other ... Maybe present it as a health and safety thing? ( Slight straw clutching going on ... )

SolidGoldBrass Wed 03-Dec-14 09:58:42

UsedToBe - Based in Kent, by any chance? It's the main hotspot for Goth-influenced border sides...

SanityClause Wed 03-Dec-14 09:59:15

So, make sure he also has formal opportunities to perform. Can he join a Morris side? A sort of Morris Minors?

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