Ds is in first grade and has a music performance he doesn't want to go to. He said he doesn't want to stand in front of everyone and sing. I don't want to force him into doing it, but then again, am I allowing him to back out of things that are difficult. I don't know, I've never been in this situation. Last year, and in preschool, he was fine with it, but for some reason, this year, he really doesn't want to go.
How do you handle things like this?
Has he told you exactly what he's worried about? Have you tried gently encouraging him - reminding him that he won't be up there alone, but in a big group of kids? Would he feel better if he could stand in the back row (you could ask his teacher to make sure he was in the back)? For that matter, maybe it would be helpful to talk to his teacher. Presumably she is experienced and might have some good ideas to make the performance easier on him and/or help him past his anxiety.
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
I didn't make him go but I did try to find a way for him participate. When he was in first grade his teacher let him do the curtain or offered to let him stand off stage or in the back and that really worked for him. It took the pressure off and now (3rd grade) he has no issues and enjoys most of the school recitals.
Pardon me while I
I would make him go, but not make him participate. If he can't be in front of the audience, then he can be in the audience encouraging his friends.
Some of it depends on how bad his stage fright is. Being a little anxious in front of a crowd is normal, and I talk about this with my kids. I remind them that they have all the other kids there with them and so no one will be focusing on them. I strongly encourage them to try, and if they can't walk on stage, fine. Then we'll sit in the audience or they can help behind the scenes.
But I will say that even my very reserved child was able to do it. When dd was saying she was nervous about her upcoming 1st grade program, I said something like "Well, if your forget the words, you can always just stand there and pretend to sing." Ds piped up "that's what I did in first grade!"
I would definitely make them attend, but not force them to participate if they were really not wanting to. But I would take time to tell them about commitment and responsibilities and I would probably explain that all the kids in the class are nervous, and if every nervous kid was allowed to sit out there wouldn't be a performance at all.
I like the idea of going and if he can't go up on stage, then he could sit in the audience. I also just learned that he is in the very front and that's what he doesn't like. I'm going to talk with his teacher to see if he could at least be in the second row.
Talking to him to see what exactly the problem is was a good idea. I'd convince my kids to participate, but like the current plan would talk to the teacher about moving him out of the front row.
My kindergarten child just had this experience: she was fine up on stage at her little preschool but this elementary school auditorium was a little overwhelming. She was up on stage at first, then when the music teacher stepped up to get the program started, she froze and told the teacher she wanted down. Down she came, and out into the audience with us. She sat on my lap and sang along softly. When the next song started she changed her mind, raced up the side aisle, and climbed onstage! Now, I agree that's fairly disruptive and would be really inappropriate for a, I don't know, 3rd grader? But she's 5.5 so I cut her some slack.