just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

Mean Girls- TLC’s ‘Cheer IMPerfection’

Late last night I finally made it up to my room where piles of laundry were happily waiting for me. I don’t mind doing laundry, or even folding it… But I can’t stand to put it away. To make it more bearable, I flipped on the TV. TLC was on and there was this show, which I had never seen, called Cheer Perfection. It was simply unbelievable.

Let me say, that there are certain reality TV shows that I do watch- primarily Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. Yes, it is a guilty pleasure but easy to watch especially while I am putting in my mileage on my treadmill. I digress.

Given the petty drama that so often accompanies realty TV, I figured it couldn’t be much worse. I was wrong.

Not only were the mothers mean to each other, they were mean to their own children. In one scene the gym owner’s daughter gets injured while tumbling. It looked so painful, it was difficult to watch. Later when the mother came to assess the situation, there seemed a profound lack of focus on whether or not her daughter was truly injured and more focused on whether or not she would be able to function with it at the upcoming tryouts. REALLY?

In another scene, one of the girls “decides” to tell the other girls to drop a cheerleader that they have thrown up in the air. The gym owners are horrified at this behavior, but really how is that different from the callous disregard for other people that these girls are witnessing in their own parents? And, I hope that no one is naive enough to believe that this behavior will be limited to the gym, or cheering.

As parents we are models for our children. They learn from how we treat others and how we treat them. If respect is missing from this equation, no one should be surprised at the nasty behavior that ensues. What scares me more is that this “cheer culture” is celebrated rather than condemned. It wasn’t like this when I was growing up, and the fact that it has degraded to this level saddens and scares me for what the future holds for our little girls.

That all said, I do believe that there are good programs and good coaches out there. My own sister was one for years. However, I am beginning to get the sense that she was the exception not the rule.

For those of you involved in cheering, I would like to hear what your experience has been.

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