By Jessica Frost

For the outside world, the modelling, fashion and beauty industries seem like different worlds. There’s so much negative press surrounding them all the time that’s easy to dismiss them and steer clear. But as a parent, what do you do if your child wants to become a model?

It’s not uncommon for young kids to get a glimpse of a TV show, movie or glossy mag and instantly fall in love with the idea of the lifestyle. If they’re passionate enough, there’s no reason that as a parent, you shouldn’t let them have a go at it. But where to start can be daunting so here’s a few easy tips…

Avoid being a stage mum (or dad) – it’s not a healthy relationship to build with your child or for the rest of your family. You need to be able to be supportive without being overly controlling or letting your child new found passion control other parts of your life.

 Meet with multiple agencies and agents – on not being a stage mum, finding an agent is the first step. But don’t settle for the first one that wants to take your kid on board. Meet with as many agencies and agents as you can to be sure you’re finding one that is the right fit for you, your child and your expectations.

 Give your kids some practice in front of the camera – helping your child to feel 100% comfortable in front of a camera and taking direction will only help to build them a successful career. Do a few mock photoshoots so that they don’t turn up to a job and freak out when a camera is pointed at them.

Educate yourself on the laws surrounding the industry – did you know that in Australia, young kids on sets of photoshoots have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, only that parent or guardian can dress and undress the child and they can’t work more than a certain amount of days and hours per week depending on their age? Your agent should be informing you of any laws relevant to your child in the industry but it pays to do a quick google sweep yourself so that you’re always up-to-date.

Have a realistic conversation with your child – you have to make sure that they understand what it is they’re really getting into. Yes, part of it will include getting their hair and makeup done, dressing up in cool clothes and playing around in front on a camera. But the other part is long days, early mornings, missing friend’s parties on the weekend. You also need to make you child aware of how much time and money you can commit to helping them build a career. There’s no point having them expect that modelling jobs take precedent over school work or that they’ll get to skip a family event for a photoshoot.