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Major stage nerves DD5

(8 Posts)
Emmie412 Mon 13-Jul-15 11:38:31

My 5,5 year old DD is just about to finish reception. Out of the 60+ kids she is the only one who will generally cry hysterically through any sort of event where she may have to do anything in front of a crowd, be it sports day or any sort of show for parents/in front of school. Irony of course being that the more she cries, more people end up staring at her because she is the only one doing so while all the other kids are smiling and happy. Or if not happy, then just serious but definitely not sobbing uncontrollably.

She is academically bright, has lots of friends, very imaginative and capable but absolutely dreads any situation like this. She was a complete velcro baby who I had to physically peel off me every morning at private nursery, she improved massively at school nursery and had a very smooth transition to reception - loves school in fact. I have tried talking to her to ask what is bothering her but she generally clams up and says she doesn't want to talk about it. I've told her that the other parents are not there to watch her but their own kids, I've tried turning it into a joke and say she should imagine people in their panties or something equally ridiculous. I've told her that I don't particularly like performing either but sometimes have to do it. Hasn't helped one bit.

Now question is - what should I do to encourage her/help her to overcome this behaviour? I'm perfectly ok with the fact that she is not likely to be auditioning to the x-factor but I feel that being so sensitive and emotional about being in front of people will harm her in the long run - kids can be very cruel pointing it out after all and she is the only one out of the whole year group sad

Has anyone got experience of successfully tackling such situation? I've wondered if it would be worthwhile trying to enrol her into dance classes or drama classes... Help please

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 13-Jul-15 20:14:11

Not all children like to perform. Could her teacher give her another, very important task to do?

DS is about to leave Y6 and one of his friends has always hated performing, his teacher has giving him the job of lighting engineer for the end of year play.

Emmie412 Tue 14-Jul-15 11:11:45

That's a good suggestion actually. I will speak to the new teacher in September, only three days left for this year.

CocktailQueen Tue 14-Jul-15 11:17:44

Yup, not all dc like to perform - totally agree. DS was like this in Year 1. He got on stage, saw the sea of people, it was dark and loads of people were taking flash photos, he looked like a rabbit caught in headlights.. after a while he just lowered his head and left the stage. I was in floods of tears.

But then in Year 2 he was better, and again in Year 3. more confident, more assured.

So time may help/cure it, or she may be happier doing something instead of performing at school. Is she OK with standing up in front of the class to speak?

Emmie412 Wed 15-Jul-15 08:03:13

Yes, she happily shares and presents in front of class. Nativity play last year she did without tears although had a sleepless night before because she worried about it.

Northernlurker Wed 15-Jul-15 08:06:46

I think drama classes are a good idea for any child as long as it's fairly low level stuff. My dds have all attended drama classes with the same delightfully eccentric teacher. Lots of improvisation work, very little script work. They all enjoyed it immensely and it does help confidence in public. I know some drama classes are much more high pressure with exams etc which is great for kids who want that but not so much for a child who just needs to explore this side of their personality a bit.

DeeWe Wed 15-Jul-15 09:18:21

My experience from 3 dc going through school is that those who did that in year R, cope better in year 1, and year 2-3 are as happy as the others to perform.
Not sure that it is a good idea to ask for her not to do it this year, because it may make it a bigger thing a year or more down the line because she hasn't done it. MAybe mention to the teacher at parents' evening (assuming before nativity casting) that she finds performing difficult, so please don't push her.

I'm also not sure about people recommending drama classes. I don't see people recommending putting dc into athletics classes when people on here are saying their dc hates sports day because they're bad/lacking in confidence at it.

And also I chaperone for a pantomime. (non-audition) Mostly the children love it. But we do occasionally get one whose dm has signed them up to "help their confidence" or similar. And they go one of three ways. One is that they do gain in confidence-those are the ones who want to be there and want to do it, but struggle on the confidence side and know they do. We then have the ones who go silly and spoil it for others, and lastly we have the ones who go quiet and clearly hate it. You encourage and praise the latter ones but if they really hate it, it is very difficult and I feel very sorry for them.

Emmie412 Wed 15-Jul-15 11:45:04

Thank you for all the replies. Naturally I would not force my DD to do classes that she doesn't enjoy - I think it would be counterproductive. Based on that, I am kind of thinking drama may not be the best choice but maybe dancing or martial arts of sorts - depending on what she wants to do. She started swimming classes recently and despite being quite apprehensive about it beforehand, the reality was that she wanted to do them. Luckily the group is tiny too so she doesn't feel overwhelmed - even though there are people watching. And she is doing well and looks forward to them all week.

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