Here are the 3 most important things you need to do to make sure your child is pursuing acting for all of the right reasons and that you, as the parent of the actor, are making sure that their happiness and balance in life, are in check.
These are also the things that will help your child actor to adult actor transition in a smooth, happy, successful way.
The below 3 main recommendations are based on hundreds, yes hundreds of articles I’ve read and hundreds of people I’ve talked to over a lifetime. I’ve also studied successful actors and their lives to get to the below 3 conclusions. These 3 themes below run throughout the tips/recommendations of parents and actors themselves.
This might be the most important post presented yet, so read up and bookmark this post. As a quick look, these are 3 overview points:
- As a parent, you need to let your child be a child, a lot of the time.
- As a parent, there needs to be balance between acting and their other life, outside of acting.
- As the parent, you need to provide unconditional love and support to your child first.
I’m helping you right now, so that you can avoid these 3 mistakes that parents of actors make. These are the top 3 things parents of actors point out that they have done that have caused their children to have issues as adult actors. So, if you want your child to go long term in this and be happy, then read on. This is also a great post to send to a friend, family member or someone you know that is raising their own child actor, as this will certainly help them.
1) If your child is Starting out in acting or thinking about leaving acting? What are some key things you should be doing as a parent? Don’t even go on to #2 or #3 below if you are not yet doing this first one.
Be the firm kind parent, but make sure and listen to them carefully. If they tell you they want to not be acting any longer, and they are sure of it, then absolutely let them take a break from it. If they want to go back, they will let you know. It’s okay to have them tell you why they want out. It’s okay to ask questions about them leaving acting. But, again, if they truly want out, then let them out.
If they want to go into acting and try it for their first time, then let them, sign up them up for classes at a professional acting academy and see how that goes for a while. Give it a test run and ask them how they are feeling about it.
Do not just say the “NO” word to them because you think they are getting into the hardest profession out there. Do not say no to their dreams, they will remember this for the rest of their lives. Do not squash their dreams for your own reasons. Do not stop their dreaming or their visions on what they want to be/do, this will hurt them in their lives.
Do not force them into acting because it’s your own dream for them. Do not push them too hard or too fast if they don’t want to go so fast in the industry. Do not keep them in it if they want out. Do not overbook them or stop them from having balance in their lives. They need to be a kid too, or when they are older, they will not know how to cope with life and they will go downhill. Let them go at their own pace, whatever that is.
If your child is already going in front of agents and managers, you should be considering the team that best aligns with you and your families’ values. You should also make 100% sure that this acting team really does have your child’s best interest at heart and that they are in this game for all the same reasons you are. It should always be about your child’s health, safety, guidance, love, support, first. Then their career and success in the industry. Make sure you ask them these questions when you are deciding to commit to a relationship with a manager or agency for your child. Find out who they are at the core and what they will do on your child’s behalf if they start to make it in the acting industry. Have a heart to heart conversation with these agencies.
As an example, there will be times when they (The agent or manager) need to be the “voice” for your child, and that voice needs to be consistent and branded. As another example, your child may be soon walking the red carpet and they should already have been advised on the types of questions they might get asked, as you never know what they will get asked. If red carpet, make sure your child actor is prepped ahead of time on what to expect fully.
In summation, make sure your child gets with a positive solid support team around them.
By the way, if you are already with a team that is not supportive or does not do the above, it is likely time to try and figure out your other options. But first, for sure, talk to your team to see if they can change. If they are not willing to work with you, then it may be time to look elsewhere.
3) They get used to Love and Attention and then Lose it.
This is a big one. Some kids get into films. Others into television. Others on commercials. And yet others into all of these genres. There will come a time when your child actor may be in a movie or television show and they will get followers or fans and their classmates and others put them up on this high pedestal. Teachers in the hallways say positive rewarding things to them. They are honored in the community for a role they play. They need to understand that these “fans” are not really the ones that love them they way their family does. The “fans” actually love their acting. The “fans” actually love the character they are playing. The “fans” love the show they are on or the film they are in. The fans are important to their “acting hat”. The “fans” are important to the business side of their acting career. But at the end of the day, it’s always about their family loving them for who they are as a person and their own heart.
Fans can go away as they usually go on to the next big thing. People honoring you and saying “Wow” to your commercial will soon fade once that commercial is off the air. When the TV show stops running, your child may feel sad or alone at school, in the community or in their normal places they visit. This is really only them feeling less attention being given to them by those people. This is going to be normal if they make it in the acting world. As the parent, you are going to need to monitor this and make sure they still have the 100% attention you and your family were giving them before and you are still giving them after. If they feel that your support has not changed, that will make it all the better for them. Never stop giving them your love. If for some reason they are older and they are resisting, don’t stop trying. Love conquers all and even though it sounds corny, if you look at the actors that have made a smooth transition between childhood acting and adult acting, it was the support of their family and the never-ending attention and love they are given by their family, that have gotten them there.
If your acting is starting to take off or has the potential to take off, having the above conversation is highly recommended. Let them know you are always there for them and pay great attention to them whether they are acting or not acting. Be consistent.
Your child is a loving, breathing human being. They are an actor 2nd. Make sure they always feel like that from you and they will soar through their years as child actors and become healthy, balanced adult actors.