Even though you’re not on the cheer squad with your daughter or son, there are many ways you can still help your cheerleader exceed and stand out as a great cheerleader. From preparation to participation, find out how to help your cheerleader shine! Understand the Commitment Cheerleading is a big commitment. From practice to fundraising, games to competitions, a lot of time is spent with the squad. Make sure you and your cheerleader are familiar with the year’s schedule and know how much time and travel is required. Get a copy of all schedules in advance so you can make any necessary arrangements to prepare for conflicts. Don’t underestimate the commitment that your whole family will need to make, but don’t forget that it should be a fun experience for both you and your cheerleader! Be the Rock Combining daily practices and homework requirements can put a lot of stress and pressure on your cheerleader, and also on you. She will need you to be a resource to help her balance her responsibilities and obligations. As with any athlete, there is always a risk of injury during practice or competition. If your daughter’s team stunts and tumbles, be sure that she understands the risks, and the importance of staying healthy and focused. Ensure her that you are always there for her. There will be both good and bad days and when she gets home from practice she may need to vent. Keep Up Your Attendance Record Whether it’s a football game or competition, attend as many of your cheerleader’s performances as possible. She needs your support! By showing up, you show your child that her interests are important to you and that you’re proud of her participation. Often times, your attendance can push your child to work harder to impress you. Cheer On Your Cheerleader Support your cheerleader, win or lose (but especially during a loss). Your cheerleader already has a coach that critiques her skills and provides feedback. As a parent, your role is to be her supporter. Even after a loss, always find something positive to mention and congratulate her on. Don’t Let Her Quit If your daughter signs up to be on the cheer squad, make sure she follows through on that promise. Even if a few weeks in she realizes that it’s not for her, it’s important for you to teach her that she has to hold up her commitments. After the season or year she doesn’t have to continue but she made a promise to her squad and coach when she made the team. This is a great lesson that can be used throughout life. Encourage Her To Give 110% At times throughout the year, your cheerleader may feel frustrated. Maybe she’s having trouble improving her toe touch; maybe she can’t quite do a correct needle. Whatever the problem, encourage her to continue practicing until she nails it. She’ll learn that she can’t give up in order to succeed. Try again and again! What are your tips for cheer parents?