Cheer parents play a major role in the cheerleading family. Cheer can be very overwhelming and involved, but with the help of every cheer parent, the entire team works better! Cheer parents really do become a family: you travel together, you stay at the same hotels, and you’re at every practice. Cheerleading is a community, and all cheer parents look out for each other as much as their cheerleaders. Without the help of cheer parents, cheerleading would be like a flyer without a base–it just doesn’t work! That being said, a cheer parent’s job is no easy task. With so much to do, there are definite obstacles blocking to overcome. Here are five problems all cheer parents know very well:

Staying organized.

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Staying organized can be a struggle for any parent, but as a cheer parent, it is next to impossible! With gym practices, cardio days, doctor visits, physical therapy, school, and work, it can be hard to keep it all together. It is called ‘controlled chaos’, and every cheer parent is an expert! You have the power to make sure dinner is ready, the clothes are washed, and the kids arrive at school and practice on time. It is overwhelming, but, hey, soon enough your kid will be 16, and then they can drive their own butts to practice! You will finally have a much-needed moment of peace, but as much as you may not be willing to admit it, you will miss the chaos a little bit.

Free time.

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Have you heard of this magical thing called free time? Apparently, it is all the rage! You get to do whatever you want, and no one interferes with that. We all know that once you become a parent, free time does not exist. As a cheer parent, free time literally flies out the window as you carpool six sugared-up cheerleaders off to a weekend tournament several hours away. At times, you may feel like you might lose it, but when your cheerleader finally nails that stunt, no matter how long it took you to get there, it was completely worth it.

Team colors.

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Who’s got spirit? YOU DO! And, you have closets full of team colors to prove it! Cheerleading is all about team spirit, and that translates even to the parents. Some parents may go a bit overboard, but that is all part of the fun! Wear your team colors loud and proud–showing pride in your cheerleader gets you more involved.

Bribing your child.

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You might think, “I will never be one of those parents who bribes their child to do a sport.” Well, at some point you will. I am not saying to bribe your child all the time, but there will come a day where you are at the end of your rope, and your child will not stop whining about cheer. At that point, you will find yourself saying, “I’ll get you McDonalds if you just, GET. IN. THE. CAR!” We all have breakdown moments, because, sometimes, kids do not want to cooperate and instead, act like little monsters. It happens.

Family vacations.

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By ‘family vacations’, I mean carting your entire family to Nationals in Orlando. Who has time for a vacation when you have to travel here, there and everywhere for competition? But, the good news is that by now, you are a travel expert. You know exactly where every bathroom is located in every airport from here to Timbuktu. You know to always bring your uniform in your carry-on, and you know to always make sure your rental car matches your team colors! You made that mistake one time… and you will never live it down.

What are other problems that all cheer parents face? Share your cheer stories in the comments!