Give me a G for guilty. Pop Warner Cheerleading started last night. Miranda has wanted to do this since last year when we moved here. 3 girls from the Brownie troop are involved and she knows this information. Problem is, mom doesn't really support this. Don't get me wrong, I didn't just tell her no. I have given this so much thought. The first two strikes against it were the cost and time involved. The uniform is 100.00. It's not that we don't have the money, to me it's the idea that a little top and skirt is 100.00. Not everyone can afford this, so now it becomes an activity that only certain girls can participate in. Second is the time. Evenings three nights a week for 2 hours, games on Sunday. This is just for one of my girls. Running 4 times a week for one activity. 5-30-7:30 at night, after a busy day in school, an hours worth of home work, this leaves no time for anything else, and I am guessing one cranky girl. I told her if she did this, it meant no dance or girl scouts, because that would put us running everynight after school.
My final problem with cheerleading, is that it is just that. These are little girls, so the cheers really don't involve much, but even as high school girls our team isn't that athletic nor are they a serious dance team. Beyond that, there aren't really any benefits. It's not like there are cheer scholarships, or "professional cheerleaders". The Dallas Cowgirls only make 50.00 a game, it's pretty much volunteer. Beyond fun, what are you left with? I would rather her pursue dance. She is going into her 6th year if dance. She is really getting good, she loves it, and her studio does compete. Some of the older girls I know have taken it on to serious roles in local productions. If her creativity continues, I am guessing she will like theatre, and dance fits into that. It's a real form of fitness, and you can go on in life with it, either as just fitness as an adult, or it actually could evolve into career choices. Dance instructing can either be a great part time job or it can be your life. If she chooses a fine arts college someday, she can continue to study it. And did I mention she loves it? She has asked to take acrobatics this year and I have agreed. We can do both her dance classes and her acro on the same night, and if her quest to be a cheer leader continues, I would rather her learn the right way to tumble, flip, leap, and vault. After all, she is the tiny girl that would get tossed into the air. I don't want someone's mom teaching her that. Let her learn in the studio and let it take her where it may.
I would never force an activity on her, or rule things out just because. I really have given this much thought and even talked it out with her. More parents should actually do this because I have seen a lot of kids over committed to too many after school activities. It's ok to tell them no, to limit what they do. Some of the littlegirls I know in pop warner also dance, are in girl scouts, and do things with the church. When do their families spend time together? When do these little people just have time to play???
So although I am feeling a little guilty today, she is only 8. There will be plenty of time for her to talk me into it in the future. She would be good at it, just not this year. LEt dance takeher where it may first.