View From Table 9

June 13, 2008

Performance Anxiety

Filed under: Uncategorized — table9 @ 10:05 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today my son ‘graduates’ from Kindergarten. They’re doing a ceremony where the kids sing some songs, do some sign language, French, and Spanish, and show their artwork. When I was young, we didn’t do this, you just finished kindergarten, had a little class party, and went home to play with the neighborhood kids for the summer. I think they do this now as a way of proving to the parents that the boatloads of dollars we’ve spent to put our kids in this school were worth it. OK.

What I was surprised about is that my son is scared to death of doing this. He says he’s not a very good singer and that they have to do SO much and that he doesn’t want to do it. Breaks my heart. He’s never been much of a performance kid so we’ve never pushed this.   “Show us how you do a cartwheel” even will get him being all shy and hanging behind us.  What’s a little different about my son is that if you don’t say “Show us your cartwheel”  he’ll do them with great joy all over the place.  Yes, even in places like store aisles.  He just doesn’t do it “on demand”.

I was a shy kid too and despised having to do these ‘performances’ myself so much that even now I don’t like people making a big fuss over me and putting me in the spotlight.  So, when he is reluctant, this resonates strongly for me.  I think I also have a little bit of performance anxiety about him too – what if he does mess up?  I want the whole world to see what an amazing person he is but what if they don’t?  Then the normal part of my brain says “Who the hell cares? It’s Kindergarten”.  Still, I wonder if he’s picking up on that.  He picks up on everything else it seems.

So, we’ll see what happens today. I have told him that he does not have to do anything, does not even have to go to ‘graduation’ if he doesn’t want to. I’ve at least got to go because I’m taking two other kids to the post-party at one of the classmates’ house (parents have to work). I think what’s tearing him up though is that all his friends will be there and that they may make fun of him if he doesn’t participate or go.

Unfortunately, as much as I want to solve this for him in a nice safe way, it’s not for me this time. I’d love to see him overcome his fear and not let it control him but then again if it’s not his way, it’s not his way. Then again, it’s not something he HAS to do and I won’t impose my will where that’s not the case. Have to save the Mommy mojo for the times when you really need it


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: