What Scares Children (and Most Adults) The Most?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Expert Advice for Parents from Internationally Noted After-School Drama Program

It's not ghosts or goblins that children fear the most. Studies have shown that the biggest fear children (and most adults) have is the fear of public speaking. Having to stand up and speak in a room full of people can send a shivering chill down the spine of even the bravest of souls. The Boston Glove reported in January, 2009 that the fear of public speaking is the number 1 fear ahead of such ghoulish things as spiders, snakes and confined spaces. Drama Kids International, Inc. part of an international franchise organization whose proven drama skills program builds communication skills and confidence in children, offers the following five tips for parents to help develop strong speaking skills in their children to help them overcome their largest fear.

"Just like adults, children need strong communication skills to succeed in life," said Doug Howard, President and CEO of Drama Kids International, Inc. "By learning to speak with confidence, children will excel at basic school activities, such as giving a report to the class, reading aloud in a group setting or participating in discussions. It's never too early to start practicing communication skills. Later on, they can apply these skills to a job interview situation, or giving a presentation at a board meeting." Howard offers the following tips that parents can easily adopt at home to improve their children's communication/speaking skills: 1) Listen to what your child is saying. Children must feel that what they say is important. Put down the paper, turn off the TV or car radio, and converse. Knowing that you are listening to them will reinforce their confidence in speaking to you and to others.

2) Practice developing strong eye contact. Require that your child look into your eyes whenever they speak to you. Then challenge them to do the same when talking to anyone else. Praise them when you see this happening.

3) Develop articulation. Use tongue twisters to emphasize articulation in a fun way. Concentrate on correct articulation. Do not allow the child to speak too fast at the cost of poor articulation. 4) Ask open-ended questions that require more than a 'yes' or 'no' answer. For example "Tell me more about..." or, "How did you feel when that occurred?" If you need a subject to discuss, perhaps read a small story to your child, then ask hypothetical questions about what might happen next, or which character they liked. Older children can be involved in discussing national news events, or school activities.

5) Don't speak for your child. Encourage children to speak for themselves. Have children place their own orders at restaurants. The practice of speaking to others in a clear voice is well worth the extra time that it may take to get your food.

Encouraging and practicing public speaking will definitely allow your child to gain comfort with this important skill and turn their fear into a sense of pride and accomplishment.

ABOUT DRAMA KIDS Drama Kids International, Inc. is part of the largest after-school drama program in the world, with more than 50,000 students currently at its 1,500 plus locations both in the United States and internationally. Its copyrighted curriculum features original, creative lessons with a built-in advancing scale of language development that enables students of different ages and abilities to relate to the program and progress at a their own rate. Its curriculum differs significantly from traditional drama programs, with an emphasis on activities that focus on verbal dynamics, creative movement and dialogue development.

Drama Kids offers age-appropriate classes for students ages 5 through 17 years old. Classes meet once each week for one hour at locations throughout the country. The program is designed to allow new enrollment throughout the year, space permitting. Drama Kids also offers Summer Camp and an In School program that brings its innovative curriculum directly into the classroom. For more information, contact Doug Howard 1-866-809-1055 Ext 101 and/or visit www.DramaKids.com.

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Drama Kids International Inc.
15271 McGregor Blvd., #16-282
Fort Myers, FL

Phone: (303) 619-2005 Ext. 201
Toll Free: (866) 809-1055

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