How a Spoonful of Perform Helps the Confidence Come Out
Confidence is something that we'd all love to be able to infuse our children with - I'm sure many parents have wished it was something you could bottle and administer now and again.
Alas, I fear science still has some way to go on that front...
In the meantime, I've heard quite a few parents describe Perform as ?confidence medicine' for children who can sometimes be shy or awkward in new situations. Little by little, with our warm and friendly teachers' encouragement, the games that we play and the example that the other children set, they start to gain confidence.
That, after all, is why I set up Perform. I'd worked for other drama schools but no one else was focusing on drama specifically to help children develop social skills. Sure, some of them *said* that they did, but in reality they were just as concerned about sending the kids to audition for shows.
So it was fabulous last week to pop into a local class and be hugged by a Mum and Dad who told me that their child had literally transformed since she'd been coming. This little girl had started with us in May and back then her parents were really concerned about her. Her total lack of confidence was completely ruining her school experience, she was struggling to make friends, she wouldn't ever answer the teacher's questions out loud and would never go on play dates - let alone sleep over at a friend's house.
According to Jess, our brilliant teacher there, even getting her into the class for her first Perform session was a struggle - she was so very shy. But Jess persevered and slowly but surely she began to come out of her shell. By creating a nurturing environment where she felt comfortable and safe, she discovered that speaking up, participating in activities and games and making friends not only isn't as scary as she originally thought - but it's actually fun too.
Fast forward three months and what do you know? She's not only more confident when she's attending Perform, she's also more confident at school too!
She answered her first question out loud in front of the class at school last week (her teacher was ecstatic!) and is going to be sleeping over at a friend's house next weekend. According to everyone who knows her, the change is remarkable.
Dealing with a child who lacks confidence can be really difficult, but there is help out there. The BBC have a good article with some great tips to build confidence - it's well worth a read. I'd also love to hear about your experiences with your own child - do let me know about what's worked (and indeed hasn't worked) in terms of confidence building.