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You know -- -- Fox Business anchor but Melissa Francis was also a character on the iconic TV series Little House on the Prairie.
Where she played to -- Cooper a little girl adopted by the gracious singles family.
But in her new book she reveals that her life as a child star in a dysfunctional home wasn't quite.
That's idyllic asked the prairie joining me now is Melissa Francis host -- money -- of Melissa Francis and author of diary of a stage mother's daughter and the thing about the book.
Is that everybody says you open about the you read the first two pages and you can't put it out.
Eight you know I've had so many people say that's me and it's it's so -- and so generous but I.
I tried to write in a way we're reads like fiction second so many memoirs are so boring you know people over and I did this and I -- that it I tried to make it a -- -- would.
That would suck people into read like fiction even though every you know word that is -- Well that that it starts right off with the scene.
Where your mother kicked you out of the car there and and you would see year older sister go through this manner but.
You're Smart -- -- meet you went and you thought I'm gonna out -- my mother.
Yes for me it's gonna be different you know was that.
I have the Hollywood version of -- tiger mom you know a stage mom who was.
Driving in competitive and and clever and pushed -- so hard in everything I mean it was.
It wasn't just acting in and show business that was also school that respect -- -- whatever -- -- all of her time in ambition.
Into driving my sister and -- but.
You know it it it also went too far.
You know it was a -- -- it was domineering and at times cruel.
But you but you see parents do that all the time -- they do push their kids and -- got -- signed up for you know forty things every single night plus homework plus school plus all these invention you have to be here.
How do you know when there's -- point.
You know I see -- all the time and especially with a lot of parents -- -- in New York you see it having you -- soccer you -- it you know with the tiger mom phenomenon and I wonder parents realize how dangerous it -- because.
You know -- in my family for me it drove me to be very competitive and focused and goal oriented.
Which is good -- -- an extent but can be extreme but for my sister.
She wasn't able to arm live up to all of that pressured she was felt like she was never able to -- my mother how.
-- and that did a lot of damage to her mean it destroyed her self esteem and -- very early age.
And sent her on this deadly spiral for the rest for life -- you know -- ultimately ended pretty tragically and it just.
I think parents it's it it's a warning to parents before they head down that road of really pressuring their children.
This this one's hits home -- I've shared with you this that -- have a young daughter that's very -- and theaters bass and singing and performing.
But that's it three -- she loves awarded a very positive way -- if they love it it's all about.
-- -- your child's passion is and supporting them and that absolutely not putting your passion inside that child I mean I think that's the critical differences that.
You're -- your daughter has found something that she really loves and to support her as a beautiful thing.
But you know -- side what a child should be and drive them so hard down that road can be really destructive -- maybe that's not where your child.
Tell mortgage I wonder if that's generational -- Melissa and maybe not but I I have friends.
Whose fathers were doctors -- and their grandfathers were doctors I and guess what they became -- doctors and some of them are not happy doctors.
No no I know I have another -- exactly like that be describing and she says.
You know maybe I was meant to be something else I mean maybe I was an artist need to have some other type of passion of -- Father hadn't driven me relentlessly.
Into Madison I mean just like -- saying.
You know I I never really got to figure out who Iowa as and I think a lot of this is that it's also look inside Hollywood -- -- -- -- -- I was -- -- -- Little House on the Prairie unit for two seasons and we had a blast Iditarod Melissa -- recently you we are talking about you what about time we had -- talked about Michael Lyndon -- -- -- -- everybody talked about him with great reverence.
-- -- I mean he was he was larger than life he was -- you know I mean everyone looked up to him on that said he had a charisma and an energy but he was also brilliant businessman I mean he ran.
That whole show and he was very economical -- -- Everyone had a small dressing room there were no -- there were no big trailers.
We have a lot of fun but he also expected all the kids to be there on time lines learned ready to go hit -- mark.
Jokes were around.
You know me he was used very serious about that -- -- this is but he kept a profitable for a long time.
Your mother made sure that's right she do I'm sure that you did it -- this is -- -- I -- I had children go Melissa yes you get you've got to have.
-- -- from Robert you're you have that degree from Harvard and economics.
So have you -- and then you know television.
All the various things that you've had a mean people are going well it seems like it turned out okay.
Yeah I mean it and that is what is what is subtle and interesting about the book is that it can cut both ways against this is not mommie dearest I'm not.
Out to bash the way I was raised her my -- date you know there's things that were fantastic -- gave me great work ethic.
I've never you know I've worked every gave my life I had my first job when I was less than a year -- Johnson & Johnson champ who -- their babies you pilot may be buried up.
What I went off to college you know I worked in the kitchen chopping carrots to make money so -- to do this summer internship and I want it.
I worked on the tech support team I mean.
I learns that there is -- Powell were in working and earning your own way and the pride of an honest days work.
And and I learned all that from working at a young -- and and you know my mother drove me to excellent so I felt like it could achieve anything.
And I had a lot of confidence and and so for me a lot of ways it works but the exact same parenting for my sister was incredibly destructive.
So I think that I I give her credit for a lot of my success and with that you have to take blame for what -- -- And you mentioned -- the problem with your sister wasn't she cool and she always wondered to please.
It was impossible.
-- -- there's another familiar with him it was your mother one of these.
Not it's not good enough.
Yes yes -- -- I remember when the stories -- -- town there is.
You know and AP chemistry I eight was a tough quest for me it was a naturally inclined to chemistry and I -- a two very worked so hard I mean and I got an a minus -- it was the hardest fought greed I ever won.
And when I got home she flipped that report card at me the same way that tiger mom describes doing that with the art project to her daughter -- and she said -- almost got a B plus.
And it was devastating you know -- here this was so proud it was this -- that I -- and by the way it was an -- minus I mean.
And you know so it's that there's a drive to our vision that it does still bothers should -- It does because there's a drive to perfection and that is not healthy and it's it's been hard for me to get to look back out.
And the ending the week I don't I know -- bad -- not gonna make you got the ending though I'm not gonna give away half.
Yeah it's really tapped yet there is a happy ending I have my own family and besides the fact that I'm tearing up now you know -- two beautiful children and and wonderful husband and.
For me it turned out okay.
It it's it's a great read and it's not the -- that I thought of one -- I thought it was going to be about well I grew up as a child star -- and lived happily ever after clearer.
It is there but it takes awhile I have to go now got -- a.