Being a cheer or dance parent can have its challenges; it can be exhausting and time-consuming. You need to keep very organized, supportive and involved!

You’ll be wearing many hats, from chauffeur, hair stylist, nutritionist, chef, personal assistant, travel agent, psychologist, and probably even a few more! All of these jobs are equally important. But the most important of all, is the role of supportive parent.

Managing all of these can be very hard. Here are some tips to ensuring you’re a supportive parent and managing the expectations of your cheerleader and the studio they represent.

Tips to be a supportive cheer parent:

Don’t lose perspective:
Wins, losses, scholarship opportunities, status and endorsements can cloud judgment and cause a parent to lose perspective. This can ruin the experience for your child and negatively affect the coaches, other team members, parents and officials.  Remember – we are working with kids here!  The first and primary objective is for them to have FUN

Arrive on time:
This may not seem like a big deal if your child is 5 minutes late, but it is. They need to be there on time or early, ready to go in the proper attire. This is taken very seriously and affects the entire team and, therefore, their role within the team.

Don’t involve yourself in gossip or rumors
these are kids, and they shouldn’t be hearing parents gossip about other parents, coaches or kids. Always keep it positive and professional, and stay away from the rumor mill.

Learn the Lingo!

Know the best way to communicate with coaches or parents:
Often, grabbing a coach before class or on competition day to talk about something or ask a question can be very distracting to coaches and is unprofessional. Always know the best way to communicate with the coaches, don’t be afraid to ask other parents. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions – just choose your timing well so you’re not disrupting their time with the kids.

Show your Spirit!
Always show your spirit! On competition day, wear team colors! Bring snacks the team can share, and always show your support – whether they do well or lose badly, your job is to always stay positive and supportive. Validate the disappointed feelings but remind them that their worth is greater than the loss.

Start a Fundraiser!
No, this does not mean that you need to bake cupcakes for a bake sale—here is the most simple way of fundraising for your team or studio.

The best way to fundraise for cheer and dance:

Starting a fundraiser with Mabel’s Labels is easy and convenient! Mabel’s Labels has been making kids’ name labels for over 20 years, and they make the BEST Dance/Cheer Label Pack!

Here are the steps to get your fundraising campaign up and running. Check in and ensure you don’t already have a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser, speak with the other parents and coaches and get them on board!

Sign Up:
Fill out the quick form on the Mabel’s Labels Fundraising Information page to sign up your team or studio. This step ensures you’re officially part of the program. Let the other parents, friends etc. know that you’re fundraising with Mabel’s Labels. Spread the word through newsletters, emails, or social media. Encourage them to participate and support the cause.

Raise Funds:
Once your organization members are aware, they can start ordering personalized labels online. For every purchase made, your organization earns a 20% commission. Mabel’s Labels handles order fulfillment and ships directly to parents with fast, free shipping.

Once the fundraiser is up and running, there is little work for you to do, the entire fundraiser is conducted online. Once you sign up, you’ll continue earning commissions on all future sales.

Not only does this fundraiser help your team financially, but it also reduces lost and found items by providing personalized labels for all squads’ look-a-like items, such as makeup, water bottles, snack containers, shoes, leotards, and bows.

Don’t coach from the sidelines:
This is frustrating for the team, undermines the coaches and is highly unprofessional.

Don’t allow your child or their success to be their identity:
The best athletes are well-rounded people put as much interest in their social life, always encourage friendships outside of the squad! Academics should always come first! Encourage other interests, and always ask and show interest in other areas of their life that are important to them.


Natalie Martinez is a wife, mother, daughter, sister. She's a social worker and advocate for mental health and women's rights.

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