How do you beat performance anxiety

Achievement anxiety in children

Children are small souls - and must first learn to deal with criticism and comparisons. Some even develop a fear of failure: this can severely limit the lives of the little ones. We give tips and advice on how the adults can respond with understanding and courage.


Who hasn't felt nervous before an oral presentation, competition or exam? Some children are so afraid of failure or judgment that they develop real stage fright. Sometimes the parents build up too much pressure to perform or demand too much from their little ones. Researchers agree that performance anxiety takes root in early childhood. Toddlers, ages two to four, rarely have anything to prove, but are still influenced by the expectations and desire for perfection of their surroundings. The way you react to your child's failure can also affect fear development.

Signs of fear

In contrast to nervousness, from which everyone is occasionally affected, performance anxiety causes significant symptoms: panic, anxiety attacks, insecurity, insomnia, stomach pain, migraines, perfectionism ... Even activities that are actually fun can lead to pressure to perform. Sometimes children are so scared of being measured that they pretend they are not interested in the competition at all. Performance anxiety, which affects adolescence, can lead to long-term problems. That is why it is so important to get the situation under control as early as possible. Parents should make the greatest contribution when it comes to building their child's self-esteem.

What you can do

Raising a child's self-confidence doesn't happen overnight, rather it is a process. But there are some things you can do to make change happen over the long term. Here are some of them:

  • Help your child to find themselves so that they can become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. That way, it will realize that no one is perfect.

  • Regardless of whether your child is interested in baseball, art or science: encourage them and support them in their endeavors! Your child should know that your love doesn't depend on what they can do.

  • Encourage your child to explore their creativity. Fears can be processed in creativity. In addition, art is an ideal way of expressing feelings.

  • There is nothing better than a little relaxation to forget small and large worries! Plan meditative exercises firmly in the daily routine. Visualizing images, for example, can calm you down and make you happy.

  • If there is no improvement, do not hesitate to contact a specialist. This can support you in your endeavors and help your child to cope with pressure and fears.