What parenting tips can you give to help children overcome fear or timidity to speak in public?
Encourage children to ask for help finding something in a store, or to order for themselves at a restaurant. This type of low-key public speaking practice is helpful for timid kids.
Fear of speaking in public can be easily addressed. The child should not be forced to speak in public by parents. This will only make the child retract even more. Parents must be gentle, highlight the advantages of speaking and interacting and go slow in tackling this. They should be caring and patient. They can put him in a public speaking course, where the atmosphere is friendly and the whole activity is fun. Self confidence and self esteem should be slowly and surely built up by talking to the child and encourage him constantly. Remeber never make fun of or compare the child to anyone else. Overcoming this fear is a tough task.
I have the same fear even now (especially for presentations). Sometimes I get jitters when I start speaking before everyone in my classroom. However, I have it well under control using the following methods.
Good preparation is the key to avoid public speaking fear.
I also practiced speaking before the mirror. Through this way, I can see my facial expressions on my own and I will be rest assured with it. You can encourage children to do so. When you try this a few times in home, you will be more relaxed during the presentation.
Teach breathing techniques for children. Check out the term 'belly breathing' and how it is practiced. When you do this before the presentation, your muscles will be more relaxed. Children practicing this from a young age can better themselves in public speaking.
As a young child I was very timid. My mother tried to force me to talk to other people because she was very outgoing. I now have a timid child and before we go to his friend's b-day party, school, or an event I try to talk to him about what he can expect before he gets there. We talk about how to address certain people, "say hi to so and so by looking them in the eyes and speaking in a tone they can hear etc...." I think some kids just take longer to warm up because they are highly sensitive kids. They look at the surroundings and take everything in before they adjust socially. When we take time to discuss it and rehearse the situation beforehand I notice he adapts more easily. In fact this shy child of mine is going in front of the class to recite poetry for the first time next month! I hope this helps some...
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