Tuesday 24 December 2013

Should we make our children perform?

Last week I had the pleasure of going to my first nativity play as a parent, Liam had been given the part of a cow, initially I was quite thrilled I rushed out to get him leggings and a black top to wear- ever the proud mummy. I turned to Liam and said are you going to be a cow in the Christmas play his answer "NO" of course I tried to encourage him and for a while he seemed in agreement he would go as a cow.

The day of the play soon came around, I arrived to at the School hall, greeted by lots of parents that had arrived extra early all gushing with pride, cameras to hand trying to find the best places and seats where they could take pictures from and make there memories. A little while later the children were led out from the back of the stage and ushered to sit on the under- sized chairs where they all got ready to perform. there were girls dressed as angels and boys as cowboys, two of the "look at me children" that were the narrators and had taken there places on centre stage. An intial glance said all the children were excited waving to there mums and sitting up straight in there chairs, but at a closer look there were some children i would say purposely put in the back rows or near the teachers, you could hear them sniffing, with tears running down there cheeks being hushed or cradled by teaching staff - They didn't want to perform.

Liam was the only child that had been bought out holding a teachers hand, I could hear him saying I don't want too be a cow as he was ripping at his costume to try to remove it from his self, the teacher had got him by this point sat on her knee so he couldn't escape.

should we make our children or kids perform in school plays and nativity's

When It came to Liam's turn to go on the stage to perform the "Cow Song" he was sort of pushed on to the stage, once there Liam did no more than to put his bottom onto the stage behind a bale of hay and stay there until the song had finished and he was ushered off again - clearly he did not want to perform, he doesn't like singing or dancing, some children love to perform they have a natural talent and shine. Others like Liam will shy away get upset and may remember that first experience of feeling uncomfortable scared and apprehensive, I really don't see why at the age three our children should be made to perform in plays when they really don't want to its distressing for parents its distressing for the child, really they are still babies do they need to get on the stage? what is it going to teach them I understand that we all have to do things in life that we don't always like doing, but as mothers should we really make out children get on a stage just so we can share success story's and pass around the cute pictures - to compare with our friends who got the best part, costume and spoken line, surely this is just setting up there life for feeling inadequate as they get older?

maybe as mothers we have become too directive and competitive for our children, not giving them the choice of what they would like to do as nativity plays seem a social norm, and another opportunity for a competition.

Did your child perform? do you love to see you child on the stage? I would love to hear your thoughts?



  1. My 3 year old was just the same. He had to perform on the Monday afternoon, then was supposed to go back later at night for a second performance and again on the Tuesday. I didn't take him to Monday evening one and I'd have preferred for him not to have been involved at all at that age. It's too young for lots of them, I know it's only for a few minutes but it can still be very daunting for them.

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