Whether your teen is facing a big test, a big game or opening night, she may experience “stage fright.” Here are some ways teens can overcome stage fright:

  • Realize that feeling anxious is normal. Feeling anxious means she cares about what she is going to do and she wants to do her best.
  • Help him realize that he’s not alone. If he’s taking an important test, have him look around. See the kid tapping his foot? That’s a sign that he is feeling nervous, too.

If he’s getting ready to play in a big game, have him look at the other members of his team. They’re probably feeling just as nervous. Perhaps the whole team can develop a ritual that will help everyone put on a “game face.”

  • Make sure she thinks about all the people who support her. If she’s singing a solo, let her know where you’ll be sitting—and ask her to imagine you’re back in your living room and she’s singing just for you.
  • Teach him to relax. Sometimes, just taking a few deep breaths can help your teen get over the worst of his nervousness. Or have him close his eyes and visualize a successful performance. (Professional athletes do this all the time.)
  • Realize that the situation will end. Even a difficult test will be over at the end of the class period. A losing game will end.
  • Make sure your teen gives herself a pep talk if she needs one: “I worked hard. I practiced all week. I’m ready.”

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