Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter is a memoir by Melissa Francis that you will never forget. It is captivating, revealing, and had me glued to the pages.
It’s hard to believe that someone as talented and beautiful as Melissa Francis is today in her role as Fox Business New anchor could have had such a difficult beginning in life. Her childhood was anything but perfect. Her mother was domineering and really abusive.
She used to get mad at her and literally throw her out of the car in the middle of a deserted road. Sometimes, Melissa would to fall into the ditch and hide so that she would have some time away from her mother and family. Her sister got treated the same way. Her stage mother wanted Melissa and Tiffany to be the best. And she made sure of that, much to the detriment of both the girl’s happiness and livelihood.
While Melissa seemed to thrive under pressure, her older sister was anything but like that. So, Melissa’s mother ignored her in a shadow of neglect and disappointment. In fact, the mother gave her such a hard time that she never seemed to please her mother. This made poor Tiffany ill over time and after going to Harvard University, finding love and marrying, Tiffany’s problems only got worse sadly. When Melissa realized that her mother played a key role in undermining Tiffany’s life and well-being, she was determined to do something about it.
I found this book sad, mesmerizing and honest. There are a lot of hard lessons in it for parents who keep pushing their kids. It is also a book for kids who feel pushed to the point where the competition is affecting their livelihood and psychological health. There are positive and life-giving ways to encourage a child to succeed.
But as Melissa Francis shows poignantly in this book pushing kids too hard in soul-destroying ways is abusive and should be avoided at all costs. What a GREAT message for parents to heed!