How do young minds deal with the showbiz pressure that comes with its share of failure, rejection and criticism?
TV show makers, parents of child artistes, and experts talk about how kids need to be given proper guidance and counselling so that they don’t get carried away by fame neither get bogged down by performance pressure.Updated: Jul 17, 2020 20:32 IST
The showbiz isn’t an easy place to be, especially with the constant pressure of making it big, dealing with failures, rejections and going through a lot of struggle. And young minds are even more vulnerable, fragile and tend to get affected easily. With so many children being a part of daily soaps and reality shows on TV, it’s crucial to ensure that they don’t get carried away with the limelight they get and neither do they lose heart when things go downhill, and maintain a healthy mind and spirit. So, how does one keep a check on the kids’ mental health?
Dimpal Sharma, mother of 10-year-old Aakriti, who played the lead in the show Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala, shares being witness to children getting bogged down by “unrealistic pressure”.
She tells us, “While working on the show, we’d see a lot of young children coming for auditions. I even saw some parents rebuking their kids who failed to deliver well. That’s not the right approach. Not every child enjoys acting, we can’t force them to do certain things because we want them to do it. I made sure that Aakriti is treated like any other kid, and not pampered much.”
Shivani Batabyal, mother of Rupsa,6, who won Super Dancer Chapter 3, last year, shares she always encourages healthy competition among kids. “Rupsa understands whenever she goes wrong, but whenever I feel she’s taking thing too seriously, I try and divert her attention,” she shares.
Mother of 9-year-old Jayas Kumar, who won Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs (2017), Ruchi Kumar says maintaining a healthy environment at home is key. “The audience might treat him like a rockstar, we strictly don’t. We give him good books to read and don’t force him to do things that he doesn’t enjoy,” she adds.
SHOW MAKERS SHARE ONUS
Besides parents, healthy environment on the set is equally important. Producer Binaiferr Kohli, whose show Happu Ki Ultan Paltan features youngsters between the age group of 10 to 20 years, shares that the idea is to “let them enjoy the journey” and have a lot of fun on the set.
But what about the performance pressure? “That’s everywhere. I always tell them to give their full effort, and that matters more than success or failure,” Kohli says.
Producer JD Majethia of shows Khichdi, Bhakharwadi and Baa, Bahu Aur Baby, says parents play a major role here. “More than the child, they enjoy the limelight. That isn’t bad till they push their kids hard. At times they make them work more, do ads, films etc. Some even lie to channels and producers that the child isn’t keeping well or travelling so they can’t shoot but in reality they’re doing an ad show or film. Such lies often affect the child. Sometimes the child sadly is the earning member and ends up making many sacrifices.”
However, he adds that makers are also sometimes at fault. “We can’t make them shoot for long hours. Some kids are difficult to manage but we’ll have to keep our cool,” he says.
Highlighting the tremendous pressure kids often go through in showbiz, Dr Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, says they often forget what it feels like to be carefree.
“In a performance based industry, expectations and competitions add a lot of weight on their mind and soul. Parents must make their child understand this is just another co-curricular activity, that there’ll be more such opportunities in future and not becoming successful today won’t change their lives,” he explains.
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