My spidey mom-sense was on heightened alert when I knew that something was troubling my daughter when she came home from school one afternoon. Her usual chatty, post-school self was shushed by a countenance marked by a somber quality. I was quick to ask her if anything was wrong. She said that she had to show her talent in front of the class the following day.
Tears started to well in my eyes- not only because I felt for her- but because I knew my little girl was growing up. She was beginning to exhibit signs of stage fright.
Call me weird, but I think this is a development milestone, as most of us adults do suffer from it. Our palms get all sweaty and our hearts go pumping like mad whenever we’re asked to speak in front of an audience.
Having stage fright is no more common than warts on a bullfrog, so I wasn’t really all that bothered that my daughter was experiencing some degree of stage fright. She’s not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to social situations, so I guess her fear of speaking in front of the class wasn’t a symptom of anything serious. But I did sympathize with her.
To ease her anxiety, I told her we’d practice her talent show-and-tell session. She said she wanted to do the hula hoop, so we did that at home, imagining that her classmates were watching. I cheerily applauded after her practice stint. I told her she was awesome to have such a talent.
On the morning of her talent presentation, I gave her a lucky charm- just a lucky coin- to help boost her confidence. I also told her to say a little prayer to Jesus, and keep that prayer in her pocket as well.
When she came home that afternoon, she was in better spirits than she was the previous day. She said that everyone loved her hula hoop gig, and wouldn’t stop asking her about how she’s gotten so good at it. Even Teacher was impressed, my daughter said.
How would you help your kid deal with his or her stage fright?