Lack of confidence and performance anxiety on stage can be frightening for the kids.

Stage Fright in Kids: Symptoms, Causes & Ways to Overcome

We can often witness nervousness, fear, and stress in some children when they are presenting in front of an audience. This fear of the audience is referred to as stage fright, where a few students go through anxiety and performance issues. Children usually encounter stage fear during the early years of their life.

The occurrence of fear may emerge from circumstances where the audience begins to turn unhappy or dissatisfied with the performance. One of the most common reasons for the emergence of stage fright in students is the sense of embarrassment that one receives after a performance that hasn’t gone well or as expected. During an ongoing performance, performing children might think too much about how others will perceive and judge. This is a common phenomenon that arises due to a lack of self-confidence and communication skills that declines the performance further.

What are the Causes of Stage Fright?

Stage fright in children is often caused by multiple reasons that are directly or indirectly related to stage performance. Three major causes may develop the fear or anxiety of presenting something on a stage or in front of an audience.

Having higher expectations with the performance, consciously overthinking 'what will the audience think?' and low self-confidence are often the causes of stage fright.

Higher Expectations

Every presenter wishes for a great round of applause that follows after the completion of the performance. But this might not be the result all of the time, so instead of being too attached to the expected reward, one should focus on enjoying their performance. Setting unattainable goals often leads students to get dissatisfied with the actual results.

What will they think?

The most common and referred cause is thinking and worrying too much about the audience. It is good to judge the audience’s behavior for future improvement, but one should never think about it while they are performing on the stage. It increases the level of stress and anxiety.

Low Self Confidence

In some cases, it is noticed that students often lack self-confidence in their personalities. That is, they are either unaware or unknown about their capabilities and the results that they can achieve. Therefore, it is suggested to work on self-confidence by following the below-mentioned techniques to deal with stage fear and develop essential qualities and strengths in them.

How To overcome Stage Fright in Kids?

Getting over stage fright is a lot easier than what you might think! All you need is a little preparation and a plan to help the kids completely overcome stage fright.

Getting over with stage fear requires a lot of patience, time, and hard work. Student needs to practice a lot of out-of-the-box activities that can increase the level of self-confidence rapidly. Some helpful activities like singing/speaking aloud in front of a mirror are often suggested by the teachers in school. There are more advanced solutions that can be used in practice to solve anxiety-related issues while one is performing. This segment of the article represents five such techniques that help the kids in overcoming stage fright, permanently.

With the help of these techniques, anyone can overcome her/his stage fear and successfully defeat this phobia in them.

Pause, Notice and Breathe

This is the most suggested and referred practice to overcome the stress that arises on stage or in front of the audience. One can take a small pause while performing and notice the audience’s reaction. Even if the feedback is negative, one should take a deep breath and continue with the performance.

Using the Five Human Senses

It is often considered a traditional practice to deal with anxiety and acute depression. In cases of stage fright, the guardians can use the five senses to calm down the kids. For instance, calming one through making him/her smell lavender, sandal, or vanilla.

Relaxation Poses of Yoga

Yoga is a practice where anyone can deal with most physiological and psychological issues. The poses of yoga are specially designed to calm down and relax after the session. Poses that are recommended to gain self-confidence are Balasana, AdhoMukha, Savasana, and Simhasana.

Practicing in Front of Dummy Audience

It is a very advantageous technique to overcome the fear of the stage and audience. Rehearsals are always beneficial, one can simply narrate a sample script (sample performance) in front of a dummy audience like family members, close friends, and even stuffed toys!

Seeking Professional Help

One can simply reach out to a child counselor or psychologist if the upper mentioned practices and exercises do not turn out to be effective. Remember, visiting a psychologist is perfectly normal for every kind of human being even for minor reasons like short-term anxiety.

Concluding Words

Stage and audience are the two most useful apparatus for every kid that aspires to be a performer one day. Situations like stage fright should always be dealt with in their initial phase. Studies represent that the fear of stage and audience grows at a rapid rate if it is not eliminated in the beginning.

Always remember, healthy conversations with family, along with fun and educational activities, results in increased self-confidence and decreased stage fear in kids. Despite every exercise that is mentioned in the blog and everywhere else on the internet, the foremost thing is to face the fear, in order to defeat it.

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