5 Common Mistakes Made by Parents of Child Actors
Parents of child actors have a difficult role to navigate. On one hand, you want to nurture and support your child in every way you can, but on the other hand, you must understand that acting is a business and requires professionalism. There are many different aspects of parenting a young actor that can be challenging—from interacting with agents to navigating auditions and balancing family and fun time with work. You’re human, and you’re bound to make mistakes.
There is a happy medium to be found between being too involved and not involved enough in your child’s career. To help you better negotiate this balance, here are a few of the most common mistakes parents of child actors make, and what to do instead.
Not respecting the rules and necessary limitations.
Many professional acting spaces have their own rules and regulations. In these spaces, your actions as a parent reflect on not just you, but your child too. For instance, if you aren’t allowed in an audition room, don’t argue, but show your respect for the institutions in place and the experienced professionals in charge of their operation. This way, you can avoid making a poor impression and hurting your child’s chances at success.
Speaking up at the wrong time.
There is a time and place for everything—this includes bringing up criticisms or discussing issues. Understanding the right avenues for communication is key. There will be some negative outcomes that you can’t change—like your child not being selected for a role they wanted. There will also be times when you should communicate and advocate for them through discussions with their agent. You don’t want to risk forming a bad reputation.
Pushing too hard.
You want the best for your child—this goes without saying. But remember to take time to understand what they want out of this venture. Continually checking in with your child about their goals and aspirations will keep their desires at the center. Encourage their passion and excitement and let them guide their own career while you keep them safe and healthy.
Not doing enough research.
You might not be their agent, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared and understand the industry. Having an open line of communication with your child’s representation will keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know and can be a great help. Ask questions when appropriate, but don’t overstep your bounds.
Expecting too much.
Being realistic is key in any business. Know your limits, your child’s limits, and the limits of every other professional with whom you interact. Acting is your child’s dream, not your own. Understanding the speed of the business and accepting that that everyone is doing what they can will go a long way in preparing your child and yourself for a happy career in acting.
There are many intricacies in showbusiness, and like anything else, it takes hard work and dedication to succeed. More than anything, you want to support your child and enable them to grow while still enjoying the process. You will likely make more mistakes than the ones listed here, but if you focus on learning, communication, and support, you will do just fine in the long run.