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How to help your child enter a room confidently

We have a different life skill focus each week at our Perform classes. These focuses are chosen from a combination of requests from parents over the years and my own experience as a mother of two. For example, the inspiration for last term’s “Manners don’t go on holiday” with 4-7 year olds was that I wanted to reinforce with my own children the importance of pleases and thank yous in all circumstances.

Each week, we spend a part of the lesson exploring this focus. It can be anything from using a clear voice to spatial awareness. We’re super-careful to not make them preachy as I don’t think children learn as well if they’re told to do something. It’s more about them learning together through improvisation and drama rather than being “taught”.

This week is “Entering a room confidently”. We teach the children that, when they enter a situation for the first time,  they might feel nervous about it. For example, if they’re starting a new school or after school club or walking into a birthday party. We explain that it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit apprehensive and that most people do.

Drawing on role-play and body language

Some children love to make an entrance and that’s wonderful. But some children get anxious about going into a new situation and it’s useful to look at this in a drama setting because you can draw on role-play and body language.

If you have a child at home that might need a bit of help in this sort of situation then there’s a really fun and easy game to play that you might want to try. You can play this with two players or more.

  • Ask everyone to sit on a sofa or chair;
  • One person has to go outside the room and are given an emotion to re-enter with (for example: excitement, fear or impatience) ;
  • Everyone else does the same thing in turn;
  • No words can be used, the emotion can only be demonstrated through body language;
  • Start off with fear, then do anger, happiness, tiredness, excitement and culminate in the all-important “Confidence”;
  • Once you’ve walked through these emotions, see if you can establish what’s physically different about being “happy”, “excited” and “confident” compared to “scared”, “tired” and “angry”;
  • Because you’ve demonstrated these through body language as opposed to words, it should be quite easy to see that the positive emotions all have open body language (head and shoulders held high) as opposed to the closed body language emotions like scared or frightened (shoulders bent and head down and no eye contact).

The aim of the game is to realize that when you’re feeling scared, by changing your body language, you can make yourself feel much better. This is because once the body change, the emotions follow suit. The advanced version adds a spoken introduction, so that everyone comes in and introduces themselves using that emotion’s voice too.

Book a free trial

If you have a child that you feel needs a bit of help with their confidence building, then please do get in touch and we’d be delighted to organise a Free Trial for them at one of our classes. And in the meantime, if you do play this game, please let me know how it goes. 


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