When Your Kid Has Stage Fright

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.

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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?


About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Good job mommy! The lucky charm and prayer is a great idea I will borrow someday.

  2. This is such a great question. I’ve dealt with this with all four girls. Each one has required a unique approach – one needed practice, another needed copious notes, another needed sweet, confidence-building words. Like most things with parenting there’s no secret formula for me so I just have to stay tuned in to their hearts.

  3. What an intuitive and encouraging momma you are! Love the prayer in her pocket!

  4. Oh good for her for facing her fears and performing so well! I would’ve liked to see it – I bet she was great.

  5. Wonderful post! I have gone through stage fright with some of my kiddies, and I did the samething, told them God is with you, before you perform say a prayer and he will see you through. It happens to my boys in sports also, and I pray with them before we leave the car and God shows up each time. You did wonderful mama!

  6. Good job mom. Not sure I would have been as good as you in that situation, but you have definitely given me some ideas to tuck in the back of my mind for when this comes up with my daughter.

  7. Carla Barilá Karam says

    Pepper… what a tender moment… It is amazing when we start seeing our children truly grow up. I still can not believe that my sons are now 25 and 21, making it that much more difficult for my daughter (5 1/2).. because I do not take my eyes off of her. Keep up the great work! Blessings.

  8. My tween who used to love to sing and dance in front of ANYONE has started to exhibit stage fright. It made me a little worried, I have to say, about her self-esteem, but your post made me think that yep, it’s a total part of growing up. I’m glad your daughter’s performance turned out so well! Thank you for the post.

  9. Laya Isabelle Garcellano Florendo says

    congrats mommy! and congrats to the hula-hooper! that was well handled :Di ‘mgoing to remember to do this when my own kids go through this :)

  10. Between my two I’ve yet to really see a bad case of stage fright–My daughter loves to be the center of attention yet she does get butterflys. My son was one who would stand as stiff as a board but he never shoed any signs of fear–he of course hasn’t had the spotlight on himself only(just 6 so I’m sure these will come a time) I like the practicing before hand….get the nerves out. JOB WELL DONE!!!!

  11. I’m 30 and I still have stage fright when I have to get up in front of a group of people. I think it’s one of the biggest fears people have. Good for you for helping encourage your child to get over it.

  12. I think it would depend on the situation as my daughter is usually has stage fright. You did great at noticing it and helping her – good job mama!

  13. Anne @ GreenEggs&Moms says

    My son doesn’t have stage fright but he does need to “warm-up” before performing. The trick is to take him to school 30 minutes before the show starts.

  14. my daughter hasn’t exhibited stage fright yet…. But I’d probably do what you did and advice her to pray.

  15. My son delivered their graduation farewell speech in Preschool and he was at first of course – afraid.. but after a frequent practice he was already confident.. but during the speech, para akong himatayin sa kaba! But he did great!

    Congrats for your daughter.. Well done Mommy!

  16. Great idea with the lucky charm that you gave her and the practice…..You’ve been a loving supportive mom and made her confident.

  17. I’d probably feel the same way you did seeing my kids troubled with something. I’m glad that thru your encouragement and prayer, she was able to deal with her stage fright and did well. You must be very proud!

  18. That’s just wonderful! I loved how you encouraged her!

  19. Mom of A and a says

    Hi, Pepper, I have an award for you at my blog

  20. My son refused to perform at his piano concert. I tried to encourage him, but when it didn’t work, it didn’t work. He enjoys music and that’s enough. I hope as he gets older he will be able to push past the stage fright to do the things he really wants to do, but if he never grows into a performer, that’s perfectly fine with me.

  21. It’s good to know that she did very well showing her talent in front of the class. Great technique indeed!

  22. your daughter has a great support system in you mommy pepper. great job!

    with my daughter, i just tell her to enjoy what she’s doing on stage because that was the reason why she joined in the first place – she loves what she does and she’s extremely good at it.

  23. Unfortunately, I myself have experienced stage fright a lot of times when I was younger and somehow even during at my stage as a working mom. All of us needs some encouragement to make it.. :)

  24. You are such a super mom!!! It’s good your kid was able to overcome stage fright. Sometimes, all they need is a boost of confidence.

  25. Wow, you’re really good at it. And of course, your daughter is so brave enough to try overcoming her fears. That was a great start!

  26. I used to have stage frights, the difference is that I don’t have anyone for support or help. My mom is never a hands on mom but of course I don’t love her any less. I grew up independent and learned things on my own. I remember during my elementary graduation I was assigned to lead the prayer, I have it memorized and I have my notes too but I was working with my dad since he is a photographer and I was the one pinning our color coding to my classmates so my father can identify whom to take pictures of. Anyway I lost my notes and I stood frozen on the stage coz everything I memorized was gone with the wind.. ;( such an embarrassment. Until now if I remember that moment I still feel bad! ;(

  27. I love your style! My kids are opposite in social situations, the eldest is the shy one, and the youngest, could be placed wherever and he’ll just shine! lol!
    Words of encouragement and visualization really helps!

  28. The last time I had stage fright, my fingers went all numb. And then for some reason, the numbness started creeping up my arms. I paced the backstage very briskly while breathing in and out. The trick worked. But I’m guessing if I had a lucky coin just like the one you gave your daughter, the stage fright wouldn’t have been as bad. I’m going to have to remember to always keep one handy for the kids, just in case.

  29. I don’t really have stage fright. I’ve been performing in front of a crowd ever since I was in Kinder. That’s probably why I took communication arts in college. lol. I think the best motivator was my parents. They encouraged me to join activities in school, and they always came to watch and support. That’s the best confidence booster for me. :)

  30. your such a great mom!

  31. We mothers really try to find ways to turn around a situation even at its worst. Your daughter is very lucky to have a very supportive and creative mother like you.

  32. I haven’t encountered my kids having stage fright yet, even my older daughter (one with same name as your princess) was all on the go when she was picked for a theatrical play – she performed in one of the theaters in the city and I was really proud. She was even eager to join the dance class and she was so good during the recital. I think her being in that dance class boost her confidence heaps. :)

  33. art of public speaking says

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  34. I still have stage fright until now. Back when I was still in high school, my stage fright would root from not having mastered the piece that I have to deliver. I have this forgetfulness syndrome even as a young teen and I hated it when I gave a powerful delivery of a speech and stop right in the middle because I forgot a word.

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