Careers in entertainment are just about the most glamorous and most rewarding jobs. Entertainment careers are at the top of the list for most children with many of them eyeing this route. If you’re a parent considering allowing your child to pursue this oath, here are some things to keep in mind.
Begin by making sure it’s the child’s desire to get into the industry. Make sure it’s not you subconsciously trying to live out your childhood dreams through your child. Once you’re certain it’s what they want, proceed. If ever the day comes that they want to stop, let them stop. Don’t become one of those stage parents who pressure their children into it and exploit them along with the rest of the industry.
Physical and emotional well-being
While it appears fun and glamorous, the entertainment industry can be gruelling with long hours, intense competition and constant criticism to boot. All this is before they get famous and have to deal with public pressure and criticism. You have to make it your mission to protect your child from burnout, stress and the pressures that come with all that like negative self-talk. Watch your child to see how they’re handling the added pressure in the beginning and throughout the journey. Offer guidance and support even going as far as getting them professional support in the form of therapy, someone they can talk to who can help them successfully navigate challenges.
Abuse and exploitation
Child predators often find their way to places where children are from schools to playgrounds and in this case, the entertainment industry. This industry because of the desperation and willingness to do anything for the children and their parents is rife with abuse and exploitation. Be alert and proactive about protecting your child. Don’t be too desperate to the extent that your child knows they have to put up with abuse. Don’t ignore any bad conduct you witness on set and be willing to walk away if it’s no longer safe or healthy for your child.
Expect it to take a lot of time
It’s likely going to take a lot of time, resources, auditions, training and more before you get your foot in and eventually make it. Be patient with your child and yourself. Encourage them in the event that they begin to get discouraged. If you’re able to get them extra training in the form of an acting or voice coach, consider doing so. In the meantime, make sure your child is all-rounded and not only focused on entertainment. Make sure their education, relationships and other interests are not suffering.
Learn from others
Look at the lives and experiences of other child stars and their families and learn from them. What did those children absolutely hate about it? With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes do the parents admit they made? Don’t do any of those things. Consider the struggles of people like Jennette McCurdy, Amanda Byrnes, and Tylor Swift who dealt with body shaming issues even struggling with their body image and eating disorders. Then there’s the litany of addictions from Lindsay Lohan to Demi Lovato and the intense pressure and public scrutiny that people like Miley Cyrus have cited as incredibly stressful. So many child stars struggle with mental health issues. Keeping this in mind, how will you protect your child from the negative effects of fame should they be successful?
Learn the business
Research and understand the business you’re trying to get into. How do things work? Do you need representation? Do you need to get things like professional headshots? Familiarize yourself with the business so that you can be your child’s best advocate. It will also keep you safe from swindlers who claim to be insiders familiar with the industry.
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