What fallen child stars can teach parents

Child stars are even more at risk for developing problems than previous generations, as their lives are constantly judged on social media.

 Child stars often become addicted to fame, and are left disappointed when they are one day unable to keep up with the competition. | Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Does your child want to become a star? Before you take them to that movie or band audition, keep in mind the following: There is a growing concern in the media about how the pressures of fame affect the lives of child pop and movie stars. These kids very often go from instant fame to bombing out, at an early age.

At what cost do these children ignorantly and innocently enter a world of such enormous public attention? We take a look…

The lessons we can learn from fallen child stars

Lindsay Lohan made her movie debut at the age of 11, and by 24 has a string of alcohol and drug abuse charges, and jail and rehab stints, behind her.

Michael Jackson told Oprah in a rare interview that he used to watch children with envy, playing in a park or the street below from his hotel rooms. He said he could never go out to play because there was no time for play, between shows, studio recordings, photoshoots, rehearsals, interviews, and travelling. He also admitted to being frightened of his father, who pushed and managed his children rather than nurturing them.

Drew Barrymore’s childhood was troubled. She was drinking and smoking at a very young age and by the age of 13 was snorting cocaine, and in the same year began her first of many stretches in rehab. She was surrounded by a family of movie actors, from parents, grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, to her godfather, Steven Spielberg, and godmother, Sophia Loren, and battled to make friends with children her age.

Children in a grown-up world

The norm to all child stars must be one of a grown-up world, filled with glamour, paparazzi, deadlines, contracts, and money matters.

Fame has come to them on a huge scale, and there are thousands more kids who are striving for this, or being pressured and pushed into becoming stars because of someone else’s desires for fame and money. Those people are often the parents, who ignore the fact that they owe their children a childhood of nurturing, protection from adult issues, and a spontaneous life with playmates.

Don’t force them to grow up too soon

There’s a thin line between encouraging a child’s aspirations and forcing your children to become what you want them to become. Kids who aspire to stardom need to be managed by their parents, not in a business sense, but with love and level-headed guidance, and being allowed to be children with no adult stresses.