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is cheerleading good for young children?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

is youth cheerleading a good fit for a very high energy, very outgoing, expressive, highly athletic and fearless 7 year old? she also does gymnastics and dance classes. she's the type of kid who loves all activities. the cheerleading group competes; my daughter is also very competitive.


i'm inclined to put her in it; i think it's just the kind of thing that she can excel at.


but i'm wondering what is the downside? anyone have experience with youth cheerleading? 

post #2 of 6

I was in it for several years and my personality is about the opposite of your daughters but I loved it. We didn't do competitions though that I remember.

post #3 of 6

Its not an activity I'm crazy about because of the kind of girls and mothers it tends to draws, and the emphasis on looks.


Both My daughters spent years on swim team, and I think it's about the best sport possible. Sports like swimming help girls learn that their bodies are cool because of what they can DO, sports like cheer leading tend to teach that their bodies are cool because they look a certain way. They also learned a lot about hard work, made nice friends, and got a lot of ribbons and a few trophies. And they are freaking good swimmers, which is just a better life skill than cheering.


One of my DDs spent 1 year as a school cheerleader, and was miserable by the end. She much preferred her from from chess club, swim team, scouts, ANYTHING but cheerleaders.


My DDs are teens now, and I've no regrets. I let her be a cheerleader when she wanted to, and was happy and proud for her when she made it. But I must admit I was happy when she told me why she wouldn't try out again.

post #4 of 6

If she is high energy and expressive, how about theater class?  There are theater competitions, dramatic readings, that type of stuff, DS LOVED it for years.  Now like Linda's kids he is spending all his time on swim team.

post #5 of 6

I'm also not a huge fan. I realize that cheerleading has expanded beyond girls clapping and cheering on the sidelines, while the boys actually played a sport, but it still strikes a nerve with me. That and the whole looks-based aspect of it. IMO, it sends the wrong message to girls.


Like Linda, I prefer a physical activity that focuses on... being physical. Cheering has gotten better in that regard, I'll admit. There IS a lot of athleticism involved. But without the skimpy uniforms, the make-up, the hair? A team is not going to do well. Other teams don't focus on that, but rather actual physical performance.


The difference was brought home to me earlier this year when my daughter and I attended a field hockey festival down in FL - at the same time/location as a large cheerleading competition. It couldn't have been more marked.


Having said that, though... if your daughter wants to try it? Let her. There is still athleticism involved, and I would personally prefer to see a girl in some kind of physical activity than leading a sedentary lifestyle.

post #6 of 6

it is a sport in my area - not sure if you saw this or not - http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/23/doctors-say-cheerleading-needs-more-safety-rules/


I'm not a fan and my DD did not do any cheering- those who are in it (in my area) and their parents do not have the values we value.

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