As a parent, it makes extremely proud when our child begins to show interest in a certain activity. It shows that they’re developing properly, and is learning how to appreciate the things around them. Such is when they express fondness for music, among others.
If they’re quite eager to take their love for music to the next level, you should definitely sign them up for esteemed piano lessons or any other music classes in your area. Being supportive of your child’s passion will inspire them to keep pursuing it, so they can make you proud.
But sometimes, even with your full support and encouragement, a talented child may still be shy, especially onstage. They’ll dread recitals instead of being excited for them. In such scenario, how can you help them without pressuring them?
Know the Difference Between Shyness and Anxiety
If your child exhibits wariness to strangers and in unfamiliar situations, that’s totally normal, and you shouldn’t try to change such behavior. But it’s important to learn the distinction between normal shyness and an actual personality type that can continue in their adulthood.
Shyness and introversion are two different things. Shyness is when a child feels initially uncomfortable and vulnerable in social situations, but will loosen up once they get used to them. Introversion, on the other hand, is when a child prefers solitude over socializing, so they can recharge their “social batteries.”
Introverts aren’t necessarily shy. Many of them are actually confident, as long they’re with people they’re comfortable with. They can develop better interpersonal skills through continued exposure to social environments, such as play dates, day care, etc.
But when your child seems only feel worse after being exposed to social situations, that could be a sign of anxiety. Take them to a behavioral therapist when they begin to show emotional and physical symptoms after interacting with others. Symptoms include feelings of apprehension, fear, headaches, and stomachaches. Those aren’t normal in shy and introverted kids, so treat their conditions seriously, and get help as soon as possible.
Overcoming Stage Fright
Music lessons can help your child develop the attitude of a performer. But they may feel pressured as well, with other talented kids around them. Hence, listen to your child when they express fear over performing. If they say that they’re afraid of what the other kids might think, fill them with optimism. Reassure them that they’re talented and good enough.
Help them practice at home by using stuffed animals as audiences. This will stimulate imaginations, but without the fear, as children are normally fond of their stuffed animals.
Teach soothing movements such as pacing. This will help them find a flow onstage, so they can focus on that, and not on the audience. Also, train them to look at the back of the auditorium when audience is present. This also averts their focus from people’s gazes.
Assess how you react to your child’s mistakes as well. Maybe their stage fright comes from fear of messing up. If their teachers tend to be hard on them when they make mistakes, be the opposite. Laugh off the little slips and fails. This will prevent them from crying or sulking when they don’t deliver within or beyond expectations.
Reminding them that no one is perfect will be beneficial, too. Practice may make perfect, but that perfection isn’t absolute. If you show that you’ll still be their biggest fan despite their flaws and struggles, your child will eventually conquer the stage confidently. And they may just be unstoppable by then.