Performance Stress and ChildrenBefore a big performance such as being in a school play or singing as part of a choir your child can feel stressed. They may worry about their own performance or about the strengths of the other members of the group who are much better than them (in their eyes). They may be anxious that they are going to let their friends down by forgetting their lines/words or do something embarrassing.

We all know some stress is healthy but what about if your child gets worked up too much? That is not so good.

To help our child de-stress before a performance we can:

  1. Get them to visualise themselves singing/acting/playing well
  2. Work though the ‘what if’s’ – what if the other members are louder/have more expression/are more confident? What difference does that make to them?
  3. Get them to think about what would happen at the end of the performance i.e. how well received it would be
  4. Encourage them to relax beforehand so they aren’t sitting around waiting
  5. Get them to do some deep breathing exercises or muscle relaxation (where you tense the muscles of the body and then release the tension)
  6. Changing any negative thoughts they have into positive ones – change that can’t into a can
  7. Focus on what they did well the last time they did this type of performance
  8. Remind them that there will be things out of their control – what they can control is their own performance and preparing for it
  9. Remind them they are part of a team and everyone is responsible for doing well

What other techniques have you used?


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /