It is really tough to be a soap opera kid. They keep you off camera a lot, you have major medical problems, and you grow up too fast(usually a ration of 7:1). You have to be cute but you always have to behave. You can't act like a real kid because then adults would have to pay attention to you. It isn't pretty. Let me explain in no particular order. Here they are.
First, there is Spike.(oh, yes, that's his name--not a nickname) He is my favorite. He had a difficult birth. He's deaf but has an implant. He has a brother that was born a preemie on the day Spike was kidnapped(almost). He just turned two and has had more problems than any normal adult. His dad was a sperm donor who turned out to be his mother's former fiancee. She got impregnated by an evil doctor so she could have this guy's kid for another woman. It didn't work out so she kept him.
Then there is poor little Bree. She is on a different show than Spike. She just turned two also. She has real parent problems. Her mother has a split personality and her father just died...on her birthday. They actually took that poor kid to say goodbye to her father as he lay dying. He was all bloody and had tubes coming out....she is definitely on her way to the family illness---split personality like Mom and Grandma. But no worries because her cousin Sam (formerly known as Tommy) will be right there with her. His mother was murdered after he was born, he was adopted twice, reclaimed by his insane father and now is being fostered by his father's ex wife. He will come by his alters legitimately and how lucky is he??? He already has two names!
One of the longest lasting children on One Life to Live is Starr Manning. She is Sam/Tommy's half sister. She has been a pip from day one. She has gone through her father being missing, almost killed for murder(falsely accused of course), found a man who was being tortured and saved him and now at 16 years old she is pregnant by her boyfriend after only one night together. She has doubts about becoming a mother and her insane father doesn't know she is pregnant. She has more sense and brains than the entire adult population on the show. She will do the right thing. Oh yes, she likes snakes too. The most interesting thing is ,though, Starr has always been played by the same actress. Since she was about 5 or 6, I think. She is the only soap kid I know who has been allowed to grow up naturally and hasn't been sped up at the 7:1 ratio.
Her poor brother Jack is a different story. I don't know how many kids have played him but at least they keep him younger than Starr as he should be.
Then there is poor Kathy on All My Children. She is the child of Tad and Dixie who was adopted not once but twice(noticing a theme here?) and has finally after almost 7 or 8 years has finally been reunited with her father(mom is dead...another common theme). I read in the spoilers that she is going to have some adjustment problems.........REALLY????????????
Petey Courtland is coming back after a long absence(7:1 I'm betting), Emma is off the show as the mom is being let go(unless they kill her off and then Emma can stay with her dad, the sperm donor), Michael Corinthos is in a coma for 7:1 purposes, Frankie(who is an adult now but was a kid and at the age of 25 has been a doctor, fought in Iraq, and is back to being a doctor) was just reunited with his dad after 20 YEARS!!! Shane Marasko has a fake father as his unaware real father is kept in the dark.......I could go on but I think you catch my drift.
I have only scratched the surface. I'm sure I could think of many more examples but I think you have the idea. It's tough to be a soap opera kid!