For some parents, it’s a breath of fresh air, for others, a potential nightmare in waiting. When your child has a dream that they want to perform, and get involved with anything and everything artistic, it might be a very alien concept to you. But if this is what your child wants to do, and they show an aptitude for it, how can you nurture this? Is there a specific approach to take, especially in relation to the fact that the creative industry is a notoriously difficult, fickle, and unforgiving industry to break into?
Nurture A Sense Of Optimism, Especially In Yourself
If you have a child that tells you they want to be an actor, the first thing that enters your mind is excessive Saturday drama costs, which you might consider to be a waste of money. After all, it’s just standing around pretending to be a tree, right? Well, no. If you’ve had teachers come to you telling you that your child is a gifted performer, you need to indulge your child’s passion for the subject. It can be easy to think that, when our children are very young, they have passions for everything, and so it could be very easy to encourage your children to be a bit more sensible in what they want to do in life. But, whatever your children have a passion for, whether this is building sand castles, or singing and dancing, you need to nurture it and put a smile on your face.
Speak To Those Who Have Been There Before You
If this is something you know absolutely zilch about, it can be intimidating for you too. Taking your child to auditions and classes is a full-time pursuit, and can be incredibly draining for you as well as the child. It’s a very competitive atmosphere, which is emotionally exhausting, but there are good people around, you just have to find them. From drama teachers, to even people on online forums, finding the right person who can give you some useful information is gold dust, and not just in relation to making sure your child goes far in their passions, you might have concerns that your child turns into one of those “showbiz” kids! Finding people who are able to be grounded in this glitzy and glamorous industry are useful resources.
Making Sure Your Child Has What It Takes
This is a very difficult balancing act. No doubt, there are going to be people who will tell you that your child has a unique gift and you need to nurture it, but there are going to be setbacks along the way. For example, the laborious audition process can mean a lot of knockbacks, which can have a negative impact on your child’s confidence, not to mention your own. And so if you are definitely serious about helping your child pursue their dreams and nurture their gifts, it’s time to put a little bit of overtime into it. Whether this is hiring a choreographer to help them with their movements, or getting a singing teacher in to soften some of the edges in their singing voice, it’s about giving your child the best opportunities based on what they naturally embody.
While some people have a natural aptitude for something, others need the skills drawn out of them, and if your child is determined to make it, they need to be what is known as a “triple threat”. Being multi-skilled, especially in the performance industry, means they will get more work. Because the entertainment industry is notoriously unforgiving, it’s not just about ensuring that your child has the necessary skills to do the job, but also the skills to cope with the knockbacks. Because a child doesn’t look right for the role, this is something that anyone would take personally. It’s all about developing a thick skin, which can be very difficult when your child is very young. This is why it’s important for you, as the parents, to teach them early on to accept themselves, regardless of the outcome. The industry can instill a lot of self-doubts because you’re trying to make yourself fit a role that you might not be right for, and the constant dents to your pride can turn into anxiety. It’s vital for you, as the parent, to ensure your child is healthy and happy first and foremost. Everything else is just a side note.
They May Want To Give Up One Day…
And with that, if one day your child wants to give up what they thought was their passion, you can feel like you’ve wasted a lot of time and money, but if they’re not happy, why should you force them into doing something they don’t care for anymore? Their happiness is what matters the most, and while you might have seen so many pushy moms along the way, you need to be careful not to turn into that yourself. And you can see it in the child’s face; they are doing something they don’t want to do anymore. And this is probably the biggest lesson we all have to learn in life if our child has a passion for something one day, and you see it through as far as possible, and they want to give up, you need to let it go.
The entertainment industry is, notoriously, one of the most difficult ones in the world, not just to break into, but to survive. There are so many stories about child actors who were so unhappy that they turned to the dark side, and while you may feel that, when your son or daughter comes to you, and say they want to be an actor or they want to sing, you need to tell them, flat out, “no”! But if this is their passion, and they are gifted at it, this could be what they were meant to do. Nurture your child’s dreams is your duty as a parent, no matter what they want to do. And this may be hard for you to come to terms with, depending on the industry, but as long as you’re prepared, and make sure that they are happy, then there’s no telling how far they will go.
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