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Cheerleading...ugh - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I would let her make her own decision about it. The only thing that would come of making her quit is her being mad at you, and other girls continuing to cheer to songs you dislike.
Well, that's an oversimplification that's likely not true. IF the girl is even mad at her mother, some things that also might come of this are that she learns that her mother stands up for what she thinks is right; that her mother does what she can to protect her, no matter whether it's the popular thing to do; that her mother is serious about her principles. And that's just what might happen between the girl and her mother. Additionally, if this mom pulls her girl, another mother who has been feeling the same way might get the courage to pull her girl. Several mothers might do it. The coach might take notice of that. Things might change. Who knows what could happen? At the very least, there will probably be a conversation about it amongst the cheerleading team/parents/coach, whether it's a formal conversation or just "gossip."

Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
So far, she seems to understand my views, and that is what is really important to me. But I don't like the fact that I am basically supporting something that feels wrong to me. At the same time...she's a good kid, she is smart, and I can honestly see her continuing along this path and turning out just like my sister the former cheerleader--who breezed through high school, waited until marriage, has a bachelors degree, and loves her chosen career.
Yes, your daughter most likely will grow up to be a lovely person in spite of the cheerleading. But to me, that's only part of the issue. When we say we don't like something in our culture but grudgingly participate, we are part of the problem. The main problem here, to me, is the sexualization of children, and whether or not you are going to contribute to it by allowing it to happen to your daughter. Even if your daughter never develops issues over this sexualization, it will be there in her psyche, part of the blueprint lay (laid? can't remember the correct past tense) down in her mind about what being a girl is all about, what's acceptable in society, what society expects. Even if you talk about it. Even if she knows where you stand. She will still carry this experience and blueprint with her.

post #22 of 34
I personally would absolutely talk to the coach about the overly-suggestive moves and lyrics, but I wouldn't pull her off the team. I would have KILLED to be allowed to cheer as a child, no matter what kind of dances they did, but couldn't because we couldn't afford it. I definitely don't think it will turn her into a teenage "slut". I would encourage age-appropriate material though, and continue to discuss the issue with her (but not in a lecturing or nagging way).

Maybe if SHE said something to the coach about it it would work better than if you said it?

Where does that whole cheerleader=slut thing come from, anyway? In my schools the cheerleaders were mostly the popular girls who everyone wanted to date and few people did. Most of them weren't sleeping around by ANY stretch of anyone's imagination, and were sort of considered slightly prudish and unattainable. The ones in my high school who WERE "sluts" wouldn't have ever considered cheering (and the worst of them were preachers kids, for what it's worth).
post #23 of 34
Originally Posted by AmyAngel
I personally would absolutely talk to the coach about the overly-suggestive moves and lyrics, but I wouldn't pull her off the team.

Have you talked to who ever is picking the songs and the dances? There are so MANY songs to choose from there is no reason to pick songs that sexualize the girls. There should be a way to do this and it be fun. I think it could send your DD a great message to stick up for what you believe but let her live her life.

Does anyone know of any books written from a feminist perspective for girls this age? I like some for my own girls, and it sounds like the OP could use some too. Something like The Beauty Myth, but for kids.
post #24 of 34
Originally Posted by AmyAngel
Where does that whole cheerleader=slut thing come from, anyway?
Maybe it's the whole walking around in tank tops and teeny tiny skirts so short that they barely cover the rear end? Maybe it's the leaning way over and doing that jiggly thing with the pom-poms that jiggles something else, too? Maybe it's the shaking the booty thing? Maybe it's the fact that even when I was in school (15 years ago) the cheerleaders' dances were extremely sexually suggestive? Maybe? :LOL

It doesn't have anything to do with the girls' actual sex lives. It's the sexually suggestive moves they make, IMO.

That combined with the fact that they often date football players, who everyone KNOWS are real studs.

post #25 of 34
Originally Posted by dharmamama
When we say we don't like something in our culture but grudgingly participate, we are part of the problem.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
When we say we don't like something in our culture but grudgingly participate, we are part of the problem. The main problem here, to me, is the sexualization of children, and whether or not you are going to contribute to it by allowing it to happen to your daughter.
I'll second the :

Well, I talked to DH and DD again last night. We are going to have a talk with the coach tonight and see if she is willing to can that part of the song. I honestly doubt she will, but we are going to at least give her our reasoning and hope for the best. DD is actually pretty okay with the whole thing--I asked if there was something else she would like to try if we decide to quit cheer, and she immediately perked up and said "gymnastics!" So I promised that if we asked her to quit cheer, we would start gymnastics, and she was happy with that. She said she'd miss some parts of cheer, but she doesn't think she'll be too upset.

So maybe it won't be a big deal...my first choice would be for the coach to get rid of that section of the dance, but at least if that doesn't happen DD apparently won't be completely devastated. I did tell her she could try out for dance team in high school if she wants to go back to it. The high school she'll likely go to has a good dance team, and I'm fine with the dances they do.
post #27 of 34
Good for you! Your daughter is responding so well because she's seen you verbalizing and thinking through your principles, and problem-solving the issue. That's different than landing on her like a ton of bricks out of nowhere, and provides a great model!
post #28 of 34
Wow. You are a cool mom. I love how you were so communicative with your child. It's not just about never letting a child be upset, it's about living our values as a family.
post #29 of 34
wow!!! that was a job well done. and what a great mature dd u have. while i was reading all the posts i myself was going thru a myriad of emotions both as a dd and a mother. as a mother i wanted her to stop as a dd i didnt want mommy to force the decision on me. it seems you have handled things v. well.

another thing i was thinking is even if the coach listens now and things go ok, it might raise its ugly head later on too. hopefully not but it might.

it certainly seems like perhaps the teens might not be v. hard on both of you.
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Aw, thanks everyone, the compliments make me feel really good

Well, I just got the shock of my life. DH called the coach (I was afraid I'd yell at her, so I asked Mr Calm to do it for me) and she was appalled at the lyrics. She swears she couldn't understand most of the words, and she paid someone else (a 20 year old male DJ) to make the mix CD for her so she didn't have any input as to what songs were used. She's going to talk to him about dubbing over the offensive parts with either music and no words or some kind of sound effects. And she promised she will be more careful in the future. DH also asked her about the "booty shaking" and she said they could cut that part (they only do it once). The rest of the dance is acceptable to me, and I am thrilled that the coach cares enough to listen to me and make a change!

So, all's well that ends well...looks like DD gets to stay in cheer. Thank you all so much for your advice and support, it's just what I needed. I'm still hoping she decides to quit next year and do gymnastics instead, but at least I'm okay with it for this year.
post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by lauradoc

Now that I'm *grown up* I find myself hoping my daughter will want to be on the team instead of cheering for the team.
Competition cheer teams ARE a real sport and require just as much dedication, and athletisism as any other sport
As far as the booty shaking goes I am so glad that you were able to vocalize your concerns and have them listened to, as a long time cheer mom here are my suggestions if anything like this comes up again:

1. Check with the cheer division they are competing with- many in our area are now banning sexually provacative moves- if your team competes with American National Cheer and Dance for instance they could use points if the judges find parts of their routine innappropriate.
2. Talk with the coach- let her (or him) know what you found out about the organizations that you compete with- if they are not docking points now- the trend may catch up and everyone hates to change a routine mid year.
3. Talk with other moms- maybe they have the same concerns- having a group go to the coach may be more effective.
4. If these tips aren't effective I would think about looking for another group. I know you said there are not many around you- I drove to the next town to keep my daughter in a cheer program that was age appropriate.

Have fun- I find I have to keep my head on my shoulders dealing with some of the parents and people involved in cheer. Our group is great and our coach sets the tone wonderfully- but I decided to be team mom this year in order to keep a close eye on my little flyer girl- (by doing this I was able to say no- way to some uniforms the other mom's were pushing on the coach) since I help so much the coach takes my 2 cents seriously.

(btw- it was my love of musical theater that brought dd to cheer- as a toddler she loved Grease and when she saw it live on stage there was a cheer number after that day at age 3 she has said she wanted to be a cheerleader like Sandy, I gave in at 4 when I let her join a little park and rec program, at 7 she joined the competition team she is on now.)
post #32 of 34
She didn't understand the lyrics?! :LOL A bit clueless, but I'm glad things seem to be working out okay. She may want to try being a tad more astute in the future.

Too funny....
post #33 of 34
More likely she *couldn't* understand the lyrics. I know I can't always make out the words to a lot of songs.

Glad it all worked out!
post #34 of 34
I am really glad you were able to come to a solution that your family could agree on!
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