When Melissa, an anchor on the FOX Business Network program MONEY with Melissa Francis, was eight years old, she won the role of a lifetime: Playing Cassandra Cooper Ingalls, the little girl on the world’s most famous prime-time soap opera, Little House on the Prairie.
The life of a child star in the 1980s appeared to be charmed. However, in her memoir, Melissa tells the startling tale of a family under the care of a highly neurotic and dangerously competitive “tiger mother.” While Melissa thrived under pressure, her older sister — who had tried her hand at acting and shrank from the limelight — was often ignored by their mother in a shadow of neglect and disappointment.
It wasn’t until after Melissa had graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics, found love, and married that her sister’s personal problems culminated in a life-and-death crisis. When Melissa realized the role her mother continued to play in her sister’s downward spiral, she resolved to end the manic, abusive cycle once and for all.
Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter can best be described as The Glass Castle meets Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In fact, this book began as Melissa’s answer to Tiger Mother, but evolved into something much more. A dazzlingly honest and provocative family memoir, it is also a meditation on motherhood. She asks the questions so many of us ask ourselves: how hard should you push a child to succeed, and at what point does your help turn into harm?
Now the mother of two young children, Melissa knows from personal experience that the key to raising happy, confident and successful children is to respect each child for who they are, and avoid the one size fits all, pressure-packed approach.
Read more about why Melissa wrote this book in her own words.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Melissa’s new book Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter.
Tell us in the comment section below: How hard should you push a child to succeed, and at what point does your help turn into harm?