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My child has an upcoming stage performance and I want to help him prepare. How can I grow his confidence?


Failures hurt. But events that lead a child to experience both feelings of success and failure are important in their wholesome development. In as much as parents want only to give pleasurable and positive experiences to their children, allowing children to deal with scary and difficult situations helps them to develop emotional skills.

Performing in front of a crowd for a school presentation is a good way for children to learn handling praises and also negative feelings from making a mistake, or failing. When parents teach them how to bounce back from these setbacks, they learn to build character for future life challenges and build on their self confidence. 

Self confidence in children

Terms like self-confidence, self-efficacy and self-self esteem overlap, but we likely encounter the word self-confidence more as a concept which simply means believing in oneself.  A self-confident person trusts in their ability, capacity, and judgment. They believe that they can face life challenges and demands on a day to day basis. 

Self-confidence can be both forward-facing and past-facing, as it is also based on past performance. That is why parents have the important chance to prepare their children for an event like a school performance, so that they can boost their children’s self-confidence. 

Science-based concepts in building self confidence among children preparing for a stage performance

  • Acknowledge their fear and use it to practice courage. 

A child preparing for a school performance might become fearful of the prospect of facing a crowd of people, some of whom may be friendly and supportive, but some may be strangers with unanticipated reactions. They may worry about being embarrassed. 

Especially when it is your child’s first time performing on stage, thoughts of mistakes and failure may take up space in their mind. What would happen if they step out into the unknown? 

How do we produce a sense of security and courage? Engage the child in preparation activities. These are positive and productive activities that will increase their feeling of security. 

Practicing with your child helps. Set a realistic goal for your practice schedule and stick to it. You being there as they practice lets them know you are their cheerleader. Support them in parts that they need help with. 

  • Practice dealing with mistakes. 

Talk about realistic expectations. Let them know that they are bound to make mistakes in their presentation, one way or another. Practice with them how to pick themselves up and continue with their performance. Instead of focusing on only winning or not making mistakes, you can focus on them giving their best and having fun. 

Practicing at the actual venue a few times and if possible already wearing their costumes will also help the child have a familiar feeling about performing on that stage. 

Other helpful ways are to record the child at home doing the performance, and practicing the presentation in front of family members. 

  • Provide continuous feedback. Praise effort and the courage to try new things. 

Praising the child for their efforts in practice empowers them with the mindset that their strength lies in planning and preparation, and developing the skills to make the presentation live up to their abilities. 

As small as the presentation may be, it is an opportunity for you as a parent to equip the child with life skills and confidence. Preparing them for both success and failure will enable them to flourish,  enjoy and learn from more events in the future. 

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My child has an upcoming stage performance and I want to help him prepare. How can I grow his confidence?
Brandon Resasco