A Safe Space for Empathy

 

 

 

Being dramatic is a good thing! But only if that drama is steered in the right direction.

Dramatic behaviour is generally just an outburst of emotions. If taught how to properly process and understand those emotions, children can then efficiently empathize with others emotions. According to PBS.org, “The ability to understand emotions — both your own and those of others — can positively affect self-esteem, personal relationships, career success and overall happiness.”

What is Empathy?

 Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another’s thoughts and feelings.

From infancy, we begin to develop affective empathy, which are the feelings we get in response to another person’s emotional state. By two years old, children begin to develop cognitive empathy, which is the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.

Playing Pretend Builds Empathy

When playing pretend, children put themselves in the shoes of another person and begin to act like them. This includes acting out their “character’s” emotions. When taking care of a baby doll, the child pretends they are a parent. When the baby doll cries, they tend to the needs of the crying baby and try to comfort them. When the baby doll needs a diaper change, the child might make a grossed out face. It is then highly likely that when the child encounters a parent trying to comfort a baby, the child will begin to understand the emotions of the parent.

Theatre is a Safe Space for Building Empathy

It is important to give a child a safe, controlled space to experience and explore possible negative emotions. A child can safely watch an actor “bully” another actor, and because the situation is dramatized, can engage in communication to learn how both parties experienced and responded to this situation. They know the situation isn’t real, but this does not undermine the strength of the empathetic response.

Why is Empathy Important?

 Helps to build a sense of security and stronger relationships with other children and educators, positioning them well for learning

  • Encourages tolerance and acceptance of others
  • Promotes good mental health
  • Promotes social harmony and can reduce the likelihood of bullying
  • & More

Through the Drama Kids program, children can learn empathy in a fun and safe environment. Our highly trained teachers and award-winning curriculum allow students to explore emotions through student created scenes, improvisational situations, and scripted scenes. To get more information, contact us today!

Drama is for Everyone

Drama is for Everyone

 

 

Drama is for Everyone

 

Summertime is typically when parents start thinking about what kids will be doing outside of the classroom. Will it be a learning and development opportunity? A new club? Tutor? Favorite sport or activity?

As you consider the options available to your kids, don’t forget about drama and the Arts.

Drama Participation Increases Academic Performance and Raises Test Scores

According to a frequently cited study of almost a quarter-million students by UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Dr. James Catterall, students who participate in the Arts don’t just do better in school, they perform in areas that drive success outside the classroom. Children who are active in the Arts demonstrate higher academic performance and standardized test scores. They are more likely to participate in community service and be elected to class office. They are also more inclined to participate in a math and science fair and to be recognized for academic achievement.

Self-Expression Learned Through Drama Instills Life Skills.

In a strong drama program, students do more than memorize lines and act. They will focus on creative skill and voice development, improvisation and movement – skills that go beyond the stage and are used every day in general communication. They work on clarity and expression, critical factors when it comes to public speaking and presentation skills, both as students and throughout their adult lives.

Drama Fosters Teamwork and Confidence

Contrary to what many think, an effective drama program actually embraces both extroverted and introverted kids. Drama Kids programs draw all kids together to share creative ideas, and all children, not just the confident, are given the opportunity to share their own ideas and collaborate. Natural leaders learn cooperation and how to include others’ ideas, and those who prefer the sidelines are encouraged to lead. All creative ideas are welcomed and encouraged so that every child feels positive about their contribution.

Drama also allows children beyond their social circle to meet new friends and build compassion for others. They learn respect and empathy by working toward a common goal with teachers/directors and fellow students.

 

Drama Nourishes the Imagination.

Drama instills creativity and aids children in  “thinking outside of the box.” Drama- related activities nurture spontaneity and help students think on their feet and use their imaginations.

Students learn empathy and to understand how others feel. They identify emotions and have to express them. Drama also teaches patience and commitment. Children learn through patience and perseverance that they can produce something wonderful. They learn that hard work leads to gratification. We see this every year as Drama Kids students perform in front of family and friends each spring.

Is Drama Right For Your Child?

If you talk to our Drama Kids instructors and parents and you’ll hear inspiring stories of students making monumental strides in self-confidence, public speaking and teamwork. If you ask any Drama Kid instructor they might tell you the questions they get asked all the time is, “Is Drama Kids right for my child?” These cases range from the parent of the child who memorizes all the lines from T.V. shows and dances around the living room whenever ‘Let it Go’ plays, to the parent whose child has speech delays, is extremely shy, and has trouble making friends. To those parents and every parent in between they will always say wholeheartedly – Yes, drama education is going to be perfect for your child!

Drama Kids is the world’s most powerful, beneficial, and FUN drama program, with over 10,000 students enrolled throughout the United States and over 50,000 enrolled worldwide. So whether your child is hankering for the stage or reticent to step in the spotlight, effective drama instruction – the Drama Kids way – can deliver important benefits for every student that last beyond a single play for an entire lifetime.

New Year, More Confidence!

New Year, More Confidence!

 

 

New Year, More Confidence!

 

Welcome to 2021! Ringing in the new year should also mean finding new ways to boost your child’s self confidence. But how does a parent go about encouraging confidence in a child who might be a bit on the self-conscious side?

We at Drama Kids International are in the business of helping kids unlock their confident sides daily!  Here are 10 tips you can work on over this year with your child:

Acknowledge when they are being brave.

Has your child stepped out of their comfort zone and done something they used to be scared of? Be sure to acknowledge this act of bravery, as this is one of the first steps toward growing out of his or her self-consciousness.

Take small steps in uncomfortable social situations.

Is your child a bit on the introverted side and working toward becoming more comfortable in social situations they would normally shy away from? This is another positive step toward becoming more confident, but encouraging them to do too much too fast is not advised. Help your child continue to ease into new social situations and get ready to see them blossom.

Model self-love and positive self-talk.

Our kids are always watching us, so by modeling self-love and positive self-talk we are teaching them how to not be so hard on themselves. We all know that accidents and mistakes happen, but instead of talking poorly about ourselves, demonstrate that it’s OK!

Give genuine compliments.

Compliment your child for something that took an act of kindness or bravery. Complimenting your child on something they have been working hard to perfect is also a great place to start.

Teach resilience.

Use the seven C’s of resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. Embrace the seven C’s and watch your child’s resilience blossom.

Support the pursuit of a passion.

Has your child taken a keen interest in a new activity? Do your best to support him or her in this new pursuit—it’s as simple as that!

Set rules and be consistent.

Consistency in a child’s life is key to many success factors and can apply where confidence is concerned as well. Make sure your child knows the rules and that you follow them as well.

Coach relationship skills.

We’re talking about relationships with peers, teachers, advisors, etc. Your child needs to understand what healthy relationships look like on all fronts.

Help your child set realistic goals.

Never deter your child from chasing dreams.  Instead be sure to steer them toward goals that can be accomplished and crossed off the list.

Help your child prepare for public performances.

There will always be instances where your child must engage in public speaking or other performances, and by enrolling your child in one of our drama programs, you’ll be helping them put their best foot forward in these situations!

Along with your phenomenal parenting skills, Drama Kids International is able to step up and help your child build up confidence and push self-consciousness to the side with our specialized drama classes. Come find out why the “difference is dramatic” today!

How Kids Can Give Back

 

 

 

The holiday season has come and gone and a new year is here! If you are looking for a fun and engaging activity for the kids, try giving back this year.

Volunteering is a great way to not only enjoy quality time together, but you’ll also be giving the perfect gift to those in need!

How Volunteering Benefits Kids

There are plenty of benefits for children who volunteer, including:

  • Teaches appreciation
  • Enhances world perspective
  • Influences balanced habits
  • Builds social skills
  • Develops sense of purpose
  • Improves self-awareness
  • Teaching valuable life skills

And so much more!

Ideas for Holiday Volunteering

No matter the age of your children, there are always simple ways they can volunteer and help out the community. AmeriCorps offers many different ways to safely help out your community.

  • Donate to Nonprofits
  • Volunteering at food banks or pantries
  • Deliver meals and groceries to vulnerable seniors
  • Donate medical supplies and equipment
  • Stay in touch with neighbors, family, and friends

You can find local volunteer opportunities by visiting AllForGood.org.

Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Year-round

Now, more than ever, keeping the giving spirit alive throughout the holidays and beyond is needed.
You can help your child learn that it’s not about what you have, but about empathy and the value of giving to others by keeping volunteering a year round event. You can help encourage your child’s altruistic side by letting them pick a cause to support and discussing the difference between donating time and money. Both are valuable donations for the cause/charity of your family’s choosing, but it’s still important for your child to learn the difference between the two types of donating.

Looking for other ways to inspire your child to become his or her best self? Check out the programs Drama Kids International offers that are specially designed to help kids gain valuable life skills.