Insightful take on the transition of the "Cheer/Gym Mom"

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Mar 5, 2008
North America
**I found this post from someone (below in blue) on a cheerleading board asking about why some moms get all crazy in their cheer mom lifetimes. I got a kick out of it since my dd did cheer for several years and I thought that it was very relatable to gymnastics. Replace "cp" with "dd" and interchange some of the cheerleading terms with gymnastics, and here you have it!!:

"Well I have a philosophy on psycho cheer moms, especially those who start with very young children. Hear me out:

First year: first year cp is clueless, and mom is clueless. It's all fun and games. The novelty comes from wearing a cheerleading uniform at a young age and getting to wear big glittery bows and glittery makeup with bright lipstick. Mom has no clue about the sport, has no concept of what a scoresheet is, what level play is, what body positions are, and is pretty oblivious to other gyms in the area because she chose the one right down the street from her house. The focus is not on winning at all.....all concern is placed on her own cp and whether or not she will make it through the routine without running off the floor crying or having to go pee pee.

Second year: cp has gained some skills, and mom is starting to learn a little. Mom understands a little about level play and is so tickled that her cp has learned some skill. However, all cp's friends are learning some skill too and the worry sets in about her cp keeping up, or falling behind. Mom also starts to notice that other gyms in the area might have teams that are good and starts to question whether or not this gym is the BEST gym around. She now knows cp will make it through a routine, and starts to crave winning.

Third year: PEAK PYSCHO YEAR: cp has gained more skills, and mom is excited but still nervous because some of cp's friends have gained more skills. Mom gets hard on cp, putting pressure on her to "get better" tumbling, jumps, body positions, etc. Mom is starting to understand score sheets, now knows how to look up performance orders like a pro, stalk you tube and picture websites to see what her cp's team is up against. She is full flegged into having her cp be on a winning team! Now the mom knows all the weaknesses of her cp's gym, and will take every opportunity to point out those weaknesses!! Talk about changing gyms is rampant, unless cp's gym has a winning record. Even if it does there will still be issues mom needs to complain about and the thoughts about whether the grass is greener at the other gyms sometimes wins out and they move. Complaints about other kids, coaches, methods, other parents, etc is at it's peak!!!

Fourth year: Mom is still psycho, but cp is progressing even more and that is enough to keep mom happy, especially if there was a gym change. Mom is into full flegged cheer mania!! She wants that win bad!!! Relationships with other cheer moms have developed, even moms from other gyms. She may still be putting tons of pressure on cp to fix this and that, get this and that etc.

Fifth year: Mom still has hidden anxiety but has stopped telling everyone about it. She has met some other 3rd year psycho moms and realize how insanely idiotic they act. She has come to terms with her own cp's level and has started taking away the pressures, but still quietly encourages improvement. She enjoys some quiet conversation with other 4+ year cheer moms. She fully understands by now what it takes to win, and has accepted that kids develop in different stages. She also understands now that kids will have strengths and weaknesses, including her own cp, and they can all contribute to a team beautifully.

Sixth year: Mom has settled nicely into a happy group of other veteran moms and laughs out loud at the 3rd year moms. She still wants the win bad, but she realizes now that winning is not everything. She has found a peace with her cp, and gives her the tools she needs to succeed, but no longer pushes so hard. This peace continues through the rest of cp's cheer career.

Now obviously there are exceptions, and lots of them. But I have seen this pattern from soooo many moms. Too bad we can't go from 1st year to 6th year and skip the years in between :rolleyes: I guess my advice is, if you enjoy her as a friend, be patient and she will settle back down. If you don't think you can wait a year or two, cut her loose until she's a 5th year mom...haha."
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Wow, MdGymMom! It's amazing how well this translates over to gymnastics! If you stick with the same gym for a few years you can definitely see this scenario play out, just about word for word!!! Thanks for sharing this humorous, but also VERY insightful post!:)
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I actually laughed out loud at this post, MdGymMom!! I'm a cheer coach for an all-star youth team, and I would say that about half of the kids parents are at about the third-year point... and some of them have been stuck there for several years. Its scary, and honestly has pushed me out of coaching. I'll be taking next year off. I do enjoy those first and second year stages though :)
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