The answer to this common problem is really very simple.
There seems to be a lot of confusion around when it’s best to push your child and when it’s best to smother them. A common type of reaction we hear is, “My son’s worst fear is to be called out in assembly. He’s never going to be one of those children that likes presenting or being in front of a crowd and that’s fine, he doesn’t have to” STOP RIGHT THERE. NO IT’S NOT FINE. You will sit at the dinner table and tell your child they have to eat their vegetables for the good of their physical growth but you’ll immediately give in if your child shows a reaction to performing at a show that increases their mental growth?
If the scenario comes from a place of LOVE and SUPPORT then you need to tell your child they will be doing the concert because they are ready to do so and afterwards they will feel absolutely wonderful. Your role as a parent is to guide from experience (yours and others), not push your own fears onto your child or deny them self growth.
Let’s break this down.
1. If the scenario comes from a place of LOVE, the instructors for the concert should be demonstrating care, interest and belief in every child. Then your child knows their instructor is only going to ask them to do something they know they can do.
2. There must be a SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT so your child has constant encouragement to give it a go.
If these two factors are not present in your child’s group then they SHOULD NOT and YOU SHOULD NOT even think about asking the child to perform, let alone if they don’t want to!
We have taken thousands of children through shows and art exhibitions. Everyone including me has shown nerves before the exhibition and will continue to do so. This is what makes us present ourselves as the best we can be but only if we have the united support of others around us. Sometimes nerves get to a child but I know I’ve got a whole group of children who will step up at anytime and give that child the kind words they need. It’s ingrained in every art project and art activity we do. We support each other to be our best. I won’t tolerate any other environment as really it’s the only one there can be if our children are going to be proud of who they are.
As a parent make sure you check out the club, school, teacher, instructor before enrolling your child. Love and support is easy to see. It manifests itself in a smile, an after hours email, a positive individual remark. If you don’t sense or see this then move onto another school/club as they are out there.
Then when your child says “I’m not doing the concert” you can look them in the eye as a loving parent and say “You’re going to perform in the concert and I’m going to be proudest parent in the audience as you show everybody just how amazing you are!”
Showcasing a child’s artwork has always been a vital part of the process for us. It has so many benefits to the child’s growth and also the positive benefits to those that are lucky enough to witness a child’s talents. We have spent years honing this vital experience not just for a packed audience but more importantly for showcasing and sharing an art project at home with family and friends. The outcomes are the same. A child that has stepped up through love and support to show everyone the talent they have. Do it again and again with love and support and the self belief and confidence just grows and grows.
PS. Give it a try or you can always ask us for more help.