New Year’s resolutions are chock full of fitness goals, new diets, and vowing to be less stressed. Usually, we revisit these same goals year after year, although each time, we vow to stick to them. As the parent of a young performer, a large part of your life is devoted to helping your child’s dreams become a reality. Use this year to further your child’s career and help yourself along the way.
1. Encourage your child to take control of their career. There comes a time when your child needs to be an authority of their dreams. As their biggest advocate encourage them to follow up with their agents and look for audition opportunities on their own. Talk about the kind of roles they see themselves in. Hands-on involvement is a great way for children to recognize that you value them as individuals.
2. Make sure their photos and résumés are up to date. Kids change and grow quickly! Start off the new year with up-to-date headshots that are refreshing for casting directors. The holidays are a busy time, and sometimes we forget all of the great things our performers did!
3. Sign them up for a class outside of their comfort zone. Maybe your child is interested in marital arts. Sign them up for a beginner-level class! Even if he’s not the next Jackie Chan, it’s always remarkable what kids learn when put in a new environment. Sometimes, it’s those lessons that stick with kids for a lifetime.
4. Write thank you notes to your child’s reps. Begin the new year with a thoughtful reflection with your child. Ask him why he’s thankful for his reps and encourage him to express that gratitude. Your child’s representation can sometimes feel far away, as you do most of the communication as the middleman.
5. Encourage them to create a list of goals. Whether it’s as big as mastering a difficult song, or as simple as improving her posture during auditions, creating a list of goals offers a chance for your child to be candid with you about her career.
6. Audition for an unusual part. Maybe your child has always been interested in playing Sebastian the Crab. Talk about roles that are outside of their type. If a local theater has auditions, encourage her to try out! Sometimes the fondest memories come from playing a gumdrop during a summer camp play.
7. Encourage them to create sketches with their friends. Creativity is everything for young artists. Encouraging your child to collaborate with others is a skill that transcends all professions. Plus, you never know if they’ll come up with the next award-winning work!
8. Eat dinner as a family. From eating dinner in the car to sitting in audition waiting rooms, it can be hard to catch up as a family. Sometimes, your spouse’s career, your career, and your child’s career can be the sole focus of conversation. Sitting around the table and talking about life in general is something that is rare when times get busy! Take the time to appreciate your family for being your family, and not professionals.
9. Explore volunteer opportunities in the arts. There are so many great organizations dedicated to bringing the arts in communities and spaces that need them most. Whether it’s music therapy for the elderly, or musical theater workshops in disadvantaged areas, volunteering is a remarkable way for your child to give back and learn about himself.
10. Have a movie marathon featuring their favorite actor. Have a fun day with your child! Work can’t be 100 percent of your relationship. Make some popcorn and have a movie marathon with your family. It is a great learning tool to see your child’s favorite actor in all types of works. Let them know you admire their role models and give them an opportunity to be inspired!
Whenever we’re faced with the task of creating New Year’s resolutions, we usually shrink away from them because we know they will inevitably end by springtime. As a parent of a young performer, you give so much of yourself to make your child’s dreams come true. Resolutions devoted to making your family life more positive are ones that are easy to stick with. After all, the holidays are a time to reflect and appreciate all that you have.
Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.
This article is reposted here with permission from Backstage.com.