The benefits of drama for children
If you have a child who is lacking in confidence, can drama be the answer you’ve been looking for?
Drama can provide your child with a safe environment to experiment with emotions, ideas, speech and role play and can actually help to build confidence in shy children.
If you have a child who lacks self-confidence and struggles in social situations, the idea of sending them to drama lessons may seem preposterous. However, joining a drama class doesn’t necessarily mean that your little one will be pushed onto a stage, made to sing and act in front of an audience or develop ‘jazz hands’!
When we talk about a child’s confidence, we are usually referring to their confidence in themselves, their trust in their own abilities, qualities and judgement, as well as their ability to carry themselves with assurance. Children struggling with this can find drama helpful in a variety of ways…
General levels of confidence
For a shy child, putting themselves in an environment where they are expected to perform and be watched by others could be terrifying. However, an experienced drama teacher will know to gradually include and gently encourage a child to take part in sessions. As their confidence grows, they will be able to participate more and more, which will in turn further improve their confidence.
Language and communication
Drama is an extension of the role play fun that your little one enjoys at home. Just as imaginary play helps children learn social skills such as communication, problem solving, and empathy, so too does drama. Learning songs and lines improves vocabulary while expressing emotions through acting and watching others aids communication skills.
Watching others expressing emotions in a dramatic context and seeing the reactions to those emotions allows children to learn about social interactions, empathy and concepts such as sharing, sympathy and resolving disputes
Playing instruments, movement games, dancing and performance art are all physical elements of drama, and each one will help your child become more aware of their body, to control their movement and to be more confident about their physical actions.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of learning any new skill is making friends and meeting like-minded people. Interacting with other children in the drama group, with common interests and shared experiences will help to nurture supportive friendships and increased confidence.