I was a shy child. Very shy. I had low self esteem and if someone said anything negative to me, especially my peers I believed it. I didn't even think of their motives or issues...I just believed it. This resulted in a mostly painful childhood during elementary school. The other part of my life was mostly great. I had wonderful neighborhood and church friends. I lived in beautiful Saratoga California. I was well fed and had a nice home. My parents supported me. I had it good in many ways. But I was a shy child.
In 6th grade my friend found out about a child's theater. They were putting on "Snow White" during the summer and try outs were coming up. I (the shy child) tried out. And I got Snow White! To be honest this changed my life. I bonded with the kids in the cast. I did a good job and discovered a talent. So why do I share this?
I've been teaching 'Acting Craze' for 8 or 9 years. I love it. But honestly to me it is not about the acting. It's about the kids. I have had shy kids in my classes. I have had many children with Asperger's in my classes as well as kids with ADD, spina bifida etc. My main goal in Acting Craze..my passion for it is for the child to gain confidence and discover themselves. I haven't always succeeded. Sometimes I have lost my temper or have been too wrapped up in the details. But I have seen kids change before my eyes also. And I love it.
It seems like a shy child would be the last person that would enjoy theater. But the reason I could do it is I became a different person. It was Snow White there not Sara. It was like pretending. It wasn't me that had to continue a conversation. I had lines all ready.
If you have a shy child you may be surprised that they can act. On the other spectrum many Asperger kids who have a hard time relating to other kids are awesome actors. Again you don't have to read persons signals...well not as intensely as real life. You just have to know your lines and act like the person you are portraying. As a friendship coach I would highly recommend finding something your child loves to do and let them develop that talent. It may not be acting but there is something they will love.
In my Friendship Craze classes we actually do some of the similar games that we do in Acting Craze. We work on eye contact, speaking up and lots and lots of role playing. Maybe if kids learn how to role play than it can become second nature to them. I also like to teach kids that they don't have to believe what other kids say. They need to rethink their thoughts and have a defense to the bullying- a plan. Something to help them not only with the bully but with their own thoughts! They don't have to believe what the bully's tell them.
So really acting, role playing etc. can really help kids! If your child is struggling with negative thoughts teach them the skills for positive thinking in a fun way with http://www.amazon.com/A-N-T-Annoying-Nonsense-Thoughts-Friendship/dp/1494233428/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390326386&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=ANTS+a+guide+topositive+thinking.
Also role playing can really help social skills. For ideas on improving social skills and role playing and fun activities you can do with your child look at my activity page. And check out acting for your kids. See if they may be interested. You may be really surprised. And it may, just may change your child's life. It did mine,
One of the things I do in friendship craze (my classes to help kids make and keep friends) in the summer is take a popular children's book and correlate it to the games and themes I have in friendship craze. This idea was the seed to my first book.. A.N.T.S. Annoying Nonsense Thoughts. A Guide to Positive Thinking.
Anyway there are a lot of fun ideas, I've used from Harry Potter. Tell the child you are going to learn a transfiguration spell. You are going to change a ANT into a HAWK. Explain a thought that is an ANT (annoying nonsense thought) such as, "I'm bored. There is never anything to do." can be changed into a HAWK (happy, awesome wonderful knowledge). Have the child take the ANT (make a paper ant) and smash it and then say a HAWK and throw a paper hawk into the air. You may make a copy of any ant or hawk.For example they may say to change the ANT into a HAWK, (There are a lot of things to do I just need to figure out some ideas.) Then say the magic spell, "Positive Verto" and throw a paper Hawk into the air. Super fun activity for the kids especially if they are into Harry Potter.
Have them keep practicing until changing their negative thoughts become easier for them.
Oh my gosh! I love this idea!!! http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_24640038/buddy-bench-at-roundtown-elementary-help-foster-friendships.
I am a mother of 3. I have a passion for helping kids feel comfortable in their 'own skin'.