You have been waiting all year for this moment. “Romeo, oh, Romeo. Where art thou Romeo.” echoes throughout a crowded amphitheater. Week after week you spent hours reciting your lines in the mirror, running the scenes with your drama mates, and anticipating what it should all surmount to. In this moment you recite every word perfectly. In this moment all eyes are on you. In this moment you are sure of yourself.
Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Having high self-esteem is not only necessary for a functional life but is needed to possess some of the most basic characteristics of human interaction. It provides physical and emotional qualities such as:
- Good eye contact
- Ability to say “no” when needed
- Positive self-image
- Ability to speak up
- Establish proper boundaries with oneself and others
- Good posture
- Appropriate body language
- Learning from mistakes
Undoubtedly, these revered traits make life’s journey a little less bumpy. On the flip side, low self-esteem can keep your children from realizing their full potential. This can have devastating personal and social ramifications such as:
- Inability to have sustaining relationships
- Improper physical and emotional boundaries
- Never trying new things
- Poor self-image
- Feelings of unworthiness
These undesired characteristics can hold anybody back but is especially threatening for kids. There has been many approaches to raising self esteem but participating in drama has been a tried and true approach for many professionals and novices alike.
In a study involving children that were involved in the National Theatre, it was shown that they experienced a marked increase in self-confidence in class, reports the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education. The study tracked the work of the NT’s education department with children aged seven to 10 from eight inner-London primary schools for three years, during which time they studied Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, and took part in a storytelling programme called Word Alive (The Guardian, 2004).
In a study by JA O’Dea and S Abraham in International Journal of Eating Disorders (2000) titled Improving the body image, eating attitudes, and behaviors of young male and female adolescents, drama was used as a key component in significantly improving self esteem.
- Drama gives your child the opportunity to:
- Be comfortable with public speaking
- Engage with peers who have similar interest
- Exercise memorization
- Try new things
- Understand perspectives of others
- Understand roles
- Be able to receive constructive criticism
The positives of finding a place for your beloved child far outweighs the minimal negatives. Let your your child’s self-esteem soar and watch as they blossom into a secure and well balanced individual. Enrolling your child in a drama class or program is an easy first step to ensuring a more secure future.