Having your child get involved in yet another activity is not usually in a parent’s best interest–especially an expensive one, like cheerleading! Yet, as your child picks up their first pom poms, it dawns on you that it might be worth the expense… and you might actually enjoy it sitting in the stands, as well! Youth cheerleading has a myriad of advantages, ranging from improved interpersonal skills and memory recall to upping physical athleticism. For parents, cheerleading is more advantageous than its initial price tag, and here are four specific reasons why.

1. Cheerleading promotes teamwork. As a young child, it’s imperative that they get frequent interaction with other kids their own age. If they happen to be a single child, this can prove challenging for a parent before grade school starts. Even if your child is in preschool or kindergarten, school only takes up certain months of the year, leaving big gaps between enrollments. Cue, cheerleading: a perfect way for your child to interact with other kids, and get out of the house while they're at it. Also, working as a team through cheerleading helps build communication and interpersonal skills that transfer over to other areas of your child’s life, like school! Teamwork requires patience, trust, and a positive attitude as well, which wouldn’t be the worst traits for your child to start exhibiting.

2. Cheerleading is fun. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, any sport promotes teamwork, why pick something costly like cheerleading?” First off, there are many inexpensive recreational youth cheer teams that cut down the cost. Second, cheerleading is where playing sports meets playing dress-up… and you know how much your little one loves dressing up in stuff. Throw a uniform their way with some poms, and they’re going to be BEGGING to go to cheerleading practice. Have you shaken a pom pom lately? It’s fun for adults, too!

3. Cheerleading makes your child shine. Unlike other team sports, every participant in cheerleading gets his or her front-row-center moment. Pop Warner cheerleaders line the sidelines for youth sports, and even get to cheer under the Friday Night Lights with their ‘Bigs’ (high school cheerleaders) on Pop Warner Night at most high schools! Your cheerleader stands beside their team, all in unison, getting their spotlight equally. No more waiting on the bench for their turn, which means no more waiting to push ‘record’ on your phone either, parents. Plus, they look so darn cute!

4. Starting at a Pop Warner level saves you money. Worst-case scenario: your child hates their decision joining Pop Warner and the cost ends there. Best-case scenario: they fall in love with the sport and continue on indefinitely as a cheerleader, through and through. Unfortunately, that best-case scenario involves a pretty penny on the part of the parents. Thus, starting at the lowest level of cheer (youth cheerleading) can save you money by having them try it out sooner than later in life. Even high school cheerleading can cost you thousands if you don’t shop around for the best in-stock retailer. All in all, Pop Warner has several hidden gems embedded into the program that parents might not realize at first glance.

What are other Pop Warner perks for parents? Let us know your experience in the comments!