It is that time of the year again, when proud parents all over Singapore watch their little ones put up a roaring good show at the year-end concert.
Some children are born performers, while others may feel a little anxious at the thought of facing a sea of excited faces in the audience.
What can you do to help your child get ready for the concert?
Talk to your child about the preschool concert
Your child may have gone for dozens of speech and drama lessons, rehearsals and dry runs because the best way to prepare children for any new event is always to go through it with them a few times before it actually happens. You can do the same at home.
Find out from their teachers what the sequence of events might be and talk through it often with your kids. Ask them to tell you what is supposed to happen next – and celebrate with them when they get it right.
This reduces uncertainty and empowers them to anticipate the next move. When children know what to expect, they will feel much less anxious.
Manage their anxiety about performing
Some older preschoolers may appear to be quiet and more reserved before a performance. This is usually an indicator of anxiety or nervousness. They are thinking: Is it going to be scary? Am I going to forget my lines in front of everyone? Is anyone going to laugh at me?
Older children will most likely have performed in the year-end school concert in previous years, and know what to expect. This means that some of them may remember prior mistakes or fears. Speak to your child lovingly and remind them that the concert is really like a party with their friends – just on a stage. All that is important is that they do their best and have fun.
Release your child from any external pressure and let them know that all they have to do is enjoy themselves! It is helpful to keep things casual, instead of constantly asking them if they are okay.
Be well-organised before the actual day
It is always helpful to be ready and prepared in advance! The preschool teachers should provide a packing list or prep list for you and your children. Ensure that everything is sorted neatly (Ziploc bags or labelled wet bags can be very handy for this) and packed in advance so that there is no panic or rushing about last minute on concert day, looking for missing items.
You may also want to consider any emergencies that might happen – new shoes may cause discomfort, or costumes might get ripped. Pack some items such as wet wipes, Band-Aids and safety pins to take the stress out of any possible incidents.
Building their confidence over time
One of the best ways to prep your child for his preschool concert is to practice, practice, practice. At the end of a school day, most kids love to tell their parents all about their day. Make the most of their eagerness by asking them to rehearse their concert piece – even when you are on the go! The more familiar children are with their lines, the easier it will be for them to rattle it off on stage without a second thought.
Consider also sending your children for classes such as speech and drama and kids theatre programmes like the Actors Centre Kids programme powered by MindChamps. Through theatrical strategies, children will gain the confidence to express themselves and collaborate with their peers, while learning to think creatively in any given scenario.
Set a good example
Children are extremely intuitive and can sense our moods easily. Parents are naturally eager to watch their children perform – often the preschool concert is the highlight of the school year as it showcases what the children have been learning in school.
However, if you are stressed about the concert, chances are you’ll communicate your anxiety to your child. So, take a deep breath and, as Elsa of Frozen says, “let it go!”. You will find that you’re much better poised to enjoy yourself if you are not holding on to your worry.
Enjoy the preschool concert
Now that your children are ready to tackle the event, it is time to really just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Be a source of support and encouragement for your little performers and fill the halls with the sound of applause!
Written by JoBeth Williams
Ready to take the next step to let your child’s confidence shine through?