How to Raise a Child Actor

Jodie Foster turned out okay.

So being a stage mom is a little glamorous, right? Even if you’re doing a good job as a mom and not to living through your child it’s totally natural to enjoy sharing with your friends and family when your child has booked a commercial or landed the role of Annie.  This is what it is all about! These are the successes we work so hard for!

That said, what does it take to make sure your child grows up to be a little more like Jodie Foster than Lindsey Lohan?

Treat Your Child’s Income Like a Business- Their Business

You are investing a lot of money getting your child ready to work in the business. There are head shots, acting classes, and appropriate wardrobe to be purchased. There are countless miles put on the car and pumped into the gas tank.  Then of course, there’s your time- sitting in crowded casting lobbies trying not to blow your kids audition.  In spite of all of this, it’s important to remember that your child is still the one doing the work.  In states like California setting aside a portion of the money that they earn for their future isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the law.

Don’t Neglect their Education

The age range for compulsory school attendance varies from state to state, but the fact remains that even if your child is fortunate enough to be very busy working- you have to figure out a plan to make sure that their education is not compromised (and that no laws are broken).  Some ways to do this are to hire a tutor, home school, or combine these strategies with a strategy you work out with their regular school.  Many accomplished child actors have gone on to finish college without effecting their careers including Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster, Julia Stiles, and Anna Paquin.

Tune in to their Clues

It’s important for parents of child actors to stay tuned into the signals kids are giving out.  While being on TV or being the center of attention might be a big draw for some kids inititially- we all know that the day in day out reality of life on the set can take a toll on kids.  Make sure to monitor your child for any signs that they might not want to be working so hard.  They might not be able to come right out and articulate it, especially knowing how hard you worked to help them follow their dream.

Raising a happy child that grows into a responsible fulfilled adult is a challenge to any parent, but doing this for a child actor requires special attention and extra vigilance.

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