The fine line……

Published December 14, 2014 by thefamilyof5

There is a fine line between building resilience and pushing too far I beleive.

My girls are really struggling right now, we’ve had more tantrums in the last fortnight than we have this year, their sleep is at an all time low, I don’t know how to make it all better anymore.

Baby girl and middle girl have both now withdrawn from their on stage rolls in their school christmas plays, opting to sit at the side instead, however, it seems even that is too much for them ‘people are still looking at me’ they’ve sobbed ‘I want to sit where no one can see me’ they say. Big girl has chosen to participate in her play but this hasn’t stopped her reeling off a never ending list of ‘issues’. ‘I’m squashed when we do this bit’, ‘XZY stands too close to me were doing that bit’, ‘I keep getting the actions wrong’ and yes I know that most kids probably go home with a list not dissimilar, and many children get stage fright and worry that people are looking at them or they’ll forget the words or get the actions wrong. What is different though is the profound effect all the ‘stress’ has on their ability to manage their emotions and in-turn behaviour.

I sat all the girls down today and asked ‘what do you need to make it more manageable for you?’ They didn’t know, I knew they wouldn’t but I was getting desperate after a full weekend of tantrums. Big girl is adamant she wants to take part but was able to acknowledge how hard she was finding it. Baby girl would rather not take part at all and stay home and middle girl really wasn’t able to decide or identify exacty what she was finding so hard.

So when does resilience building become too much? When do I decide that this is just to much for them and the benefits have been outweighed by the anxiety and it’s negative effect on their emotional well being and health? Do I continue to push them all to take part and see that it’s ok? Or accept that it’s just not managable for them?!

There is a fine line, but at the moment I just can’t see where that line is………..


4 comments on “The fine line……

  • Sometimes it may be easier for you and them to accept it’s not manageable for them to take part. The stress it causes could build up to more outbursts. Some people may say well if you make them do it it will be easier next time…or by making them take part you may drive a wedge between you and them. As you’ve asked them to do something they’re not comfortable with. Well done big girl for acknowledging her fears and voicing them

  • Is having them do it putting them in a position where they are set up to succeed or to fail? I really believe, and found it was true with my boys, that if they’re finding something very difficult AND unpleasant that it’s not the right time to do it. So what if it’s what others are doing–they’re not others, they’re them. When they’re ready they’ll be able to do it and if it’s not on the ‘standard, expected’ timeline so what.

    I’d also like to share that in my experience when they were unable to make a decision it was often because they wanted to not do it, but weren’t secure enough to admit it. When I made the decision for them the relief was obvious (after the screaming at me that I was wrong, of course!).


  • Performance anxiety/fear of failure (and punishment) + physical proximity/safety issues all in one. Ouch.

    I don’t know what the line is, but that, “They’re still looking at me!” is so resonant for me.

    Take care.

  • It is hard to know. Sometimes I have encouraged my older one to take part in her singing group, wondering if it is just too much, but she has been so pleased with herself once she has done it. But she also had lots of nurturing encouragement from her singing teacher who knew when she needed extra care during the performance. My youngest one just seems very confused and overwhelmed in his school plays, and just about manages to stand up and sit down with everyone else while I have to fight all urges to scoop him up into the safety of my arms. It feels like too much for him. But in his little out of school acting group, he takes on speaking parts and costume changes with gusto. So in the right space, he enjoys performing. Sorry, I am not really answering your question, but just sharing some of our experiences. I do wonder why all the children have to perform in our school plays, I remember my school plays as a child, and we could opt to do things like make up and props, so we were taking part without having to perform. Good luck and love to you all.

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