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ds is nervous and doesn't want to accept the invite to be part of a concert. How can I help him get a little more confident?

(10 Posts)
edam Mon 15-Nov-10 22:28:49

ds has recorder lessons. His teacher has just invited him to be part of a Christmas Concert - not his music group end of term thing but a bigger event in the church on the High Street with people from lots of different groups. It's quite a compliment that he's been asked - but he doesn't want to do it as he's 'too nervous'.

He's only seven - should I say OK, don't worry and just wait until he reaches a stage where he has more confidence about performing with a bunch of strangers in front of lots of strangers? (It would make me nervous, tbh.) OR is there some way I can help him get over his nerves?

I'd love to see him do it. And I'm quite proud of him for doing well enough to be asked.

He's generally very confident in his own little world, among his peers. But sometimes is a little apprehensive and wants to avoid things 'because I'm nervous' - most recently a Beaver Scouts night hike. He's also refused a couple of optional Beavers activities (none of his own friends happen to be in this group - it's VERY difficult to get into packs round here, he was on the waiting list for three years).

Have reminded him about all the other times when he's been nervous but things have gone really well, and admitted that I'm nervous too sometimes but glad when I give things a go (had to give a major presentation recently and used that example).

So, if it was your child, would you push or would you hold back?

edam Tue 16-Nov-10 09:44:40

bump - please can anyone help?

lollipopshoes Tue 16-Nov-10 09:48:38

I think I would encourage him tbh, but not push him too hard - let him know that he doesn't have to do anything he isn't ready for and you'll support him no matter what.

But also tell him that he wouldn't have been asked to do this if they didn't feel that he was good enough,

he's very young and even if he totally fucks it up (obviously using more 7yo friendly words wink) it doesn't matter, they'll all still think he's fab for giving it a go,

when you're grown up you never regret the things you did, only the things you didn't do,

you'll be really proud of him no matter what

good luck.

lollipopshoes Tue 16-Nov-10 09:49:44

perhaps also google stars with stage fright - let him know it's perfectly normal to be nervous but he can do it anyway - if you can find someone he really likes who gets stage fright that'd be even better

edam Tue 16-Nov-10 09:59:48

Ooh, thank you lollipops! V. good advice. Hadn't thought of googling stage fright.

Don't think he would mess up, tbh, it's just his nerves about performing somewhere he's never done it before and with people he doesn't know. I can sympathise with that but will use your advice to try to encourage him to have a go.

Actually I DO regret some of the things I have done - still occasionally dream about a speech I really did very badly indeed twenty ruddy years ago... blush

Goingspare Tue 16-Nov-10 09:59:56

Will he have to do a solo? If not, remind him that he'll have lots of support and nobody will hear him he won't stand out if he makes a mistake.

And get his teacher to talk to him a bit more about it; my children are both like DS, but are more willing to give things a go if the teacher asks them and assures them they can do it (DD1 has been 'conscripted' into her secondary school orchestra when she didn't dare audition and loves it; DD2 said she'd never do grade 1 until her new teacher flattered her outrageously and told her she could go straight to grade 2).

Don't push too hard; if he does the concert it'll probably give him a little boost, but he's still very little, so there's plenty of time to be brave.

edam Tue 16-Nov-10 10:01:46

Oh yes, there's a solo. Maybe I should ask his teacher if he can just do the group?

YY I realise this isn't make or break for his entire future, just think it's a shame if nerves stop him doing something that I think would make him feel proud.

lollipopshoes Tue 16-Nov-10 10:02:45

can he visit the place beforehand so he knows what to expect? (assuming he doesn't already know the church of course)

maybe take him to the church on a Sunday when it's full (ish)

Goingspare Tue 16-Nov-10 10:08:36

Just doing the group bit might be a compromise? I do think children can gain a lot of confidence from pushing themselves just a little when they're not sure about something, but there's obviously a fine line to tread; I'm sure you'll work out where it is. You seem pretty sure that he'll cope, so he probably will, so it's worth encouraging him to have a go.

edam Tue 16-Nov-10 10:21:22

Thank you, more good ideas. And yes, it is a fine line so I'm very grateful for your feedback.

He's been to the church before but not since last year's school Christmas Concert. So yes, worth taking him again.

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