Do you have a drama queen or king on your hands? Do you wonder sometimes where all the expression, gestures and antics come from?
Here are 5 suggestions which might help you get through some of ‘the drama’ and channel some that creative energy:
- The fact that you are reading this, suggests that you’ve started looking in the right direction. A dramatic child should definitely be focusing that creative energy in some extracurricular activity. While we highly recommend drama classes for obvious reasons, truth be told, any performance activity that provides an outlet for expression, includes skill building and affords a potential audience, would be good. We suggest football, karate, gymnastics or dance. The teamwork aspect of these activities might help to curb some of the ‘diva-ness’ and help the young person to share some of the lime-light and see that it’s not all about her. Plus, the opportunity to be creative and expressive in a disciplined environment will prove both rewarding to you and your little drama person.
- Is your child such a dramatist that she makes up plays and songs and dances all the time? Why not make a project out of it? Consider raising the stakes by making a production out of it. Create invitations and invite neighbours or grandparents, develop a theme around an event or occasion – such as Christmas or birthday or earth day, make programmes and decide on costumes and set. These activities show her how interested and invested you are to her creativity. It also encourages her to work on her performance over a period of time.
- Join in the fun. Why don’t you get involved in the drama? While your child might discover a whole new character in ‘drama-mom’ or ‘drama-dad’, role-playing with him can provide excellent opportunities for bonding. Plus you might be surprised at how much fun you have in the process.
- Sometimes the drama isn’t cute. Does your child explode into wild histrionics when things do not go her way? This can be very frustrating for parents. Before you have your own explosion, try to remain calm. Explain to your little dramatist that you can’t communicate with her when she is in hysterics. She might need to excuse herself or take a breath and try again. Maybe then you will be able to communicate better and she will fast learn that the dramatic antics don’t work.
- At times when the drama is an exaggerated response to some perceived wrong, try congratulating him for his wonderful dramatic characterization. “Oh wow! That is an excellent angry face! Look how your eyebrows are all wrinkly and your mouth is all pouty! That is excellent. I have to take a picture so that your drama teacher can see how well you can do an angry face.” It works with crocodile tears too. What you do is play into the attention which is being sought while not focusing on the issue at hand – whatever it was that got him upset in the first place. Hopefully this change of subject will help the little one to get over that initial infraction.