The Baby Breadwinner: 4 Reasons to Think Twice Before Putting Kids in Show Business

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Lights, camera, action! Make room for the Brinks truck following the child star cash cow! Who needs a childhood filled with little league, homework, dance recitals, and trips to amusement parks when your child can have fame and fortune in show business – right? Does the family dynamic shift when a superstar minor becomes the breadwinner of the household? Hmmmm….Here are 4 reasons parents should think twice before putting their child in show business:

  • Stardom Can Wait: What’s the rush?! Aside from athletics, is there an expiration date on raw talent? Show business is not going anywhere anytime soon, so give it time. There are plenty of megastars who became famous as adults with childhoods out of the spotlight. Just ask Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z, Halle Berry, Ben Affleck, Kanye West, Brad Pitt, etc.
  • Overwhelming Pressure: Can you imagine the distress a child star must face if they know the mortgage won’t get paid if they stop working? Or, how crushing it might be if their fan base disappears or studio execs no longer want to cast them? So, it’s no surprise that some former child stars end up caught in a revolving door of rehab and therapy as they struggle to cope with the pressures of life and fame.
  • Parent vs. Manager – Inherent Conflict of Interest: How does the parent/child relationship play out when the child is the parent’s employer? Parents who manage the careers of their children face a unique set of challenges because they are playing two roles that often conflict with each other. Which role wins out at Thanksgiving dinner or when the child needs unbiased emotional support? Case in point – Beyoncé became a teen sensation in the girl group, Destiny’s Child, and her father, Mathew Knowles, successfully guided her career to superstar status as a solo artist. She eventually severed professional ties with her father, stating in the HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, that part of the motivation for doing so was that she missed her dad and needed him to be her father again and not her manager. Case closed.

What do you think about children getting involved in show business?