Something wonderful is happening in the cheer world...parents are laughing at themselves and regulating their behavior.
Many years ago, Becky said to me, "I'll disown you if you ever become one of those crazy cheer moms."
I'd like to think that I've policed myself well all these years but I'm sure my daughters would have other†thoughts of when I went astray.
Luckily, there's a support group for those times; the NACP Not A Cheer Parent.
Posted on the United States All Star Federation's Parent Action Committee (PAC) online forum (linked on USASF, FIERCE BOARD, and other credible cheer web sites) and contributed to by both PAC members and non-members, these rules can save many a Certifiably CHEERMaD from flipping out.
Christiana Hundley; whose daughter Kiera†cheers forFame All Stars in Midlothian, Virginia, has been credited with initiating the Not a Cheer Parent (NACP) rules that first†appeared on FIERCE BOARD and reposted on†Certifiably CHEERMaD.
Two other CHEERMaDs, Stephanie Newman and Vickie Bieniek, whose daughters cheer†for a similarly named gym, Famous Athletics in Chicago, IL, were quick to add to the tongue-in cheek rules for parents who have a sense of humor about playing well with other CHEERMaDs (see below).
Christiana (a.k.a. Mamarazzi on FIERCE BOARD) is a mother of two, a full-time patient advocate, Team Mom, and avid cheerleading fan. She said her "days are filled with chauffering her children to the gym, dojo and/or soccer pitch, purchasing all her clothing in team colors, and putting the furniture back in place after having been re-arranged for living room stunting."
NACP Rules of...
When sitting in a group and another person walks into the room, you will acknowledge new person. You will also ask them to join the group. NOT huddle closer together to exclude new person. Just.plain.rude.
Under no circumstances will you speak negatively about someone else's child.
If you have an issue with another parent, coach etc, you will discuss said issue with that person privately. Not after you've asked the opinion of everyone in the waiting room.
You will not interrupt Sally's mom's proud moment with "WELL SUSIE can do that AND this..."
An NACP member will never start a sentence with "Not to be rude, but..." Cuz whatever comes out of your mouth next is....gonna be rude.
If you don't like me, that's fine. I probably don't like you either. Please be civil and polite and I will do the same. We need to deal with each other for the next 11 months. We might as well make the best of it!
You will not tell everyone your Cheer Princess/Person (CP) is going to make Senior 5 when she is working her back hand spring. Per PAC online member "Just-a-Mom:" You should not know or be speculating about what team your CP is going to make.î Be it level 5 or any other level.
You will not run around telling everyone who should or shouldn't fly or make a certain team!!
Nor will you walk up to your CP's coach and say, "You know I'm not THAT parent but..."
You will avoid the "cheer mama drama" of others and anything that can be construed as such.
You must refrain from putting cryptic status updates on Facebook. Those type of updates are meant to create drama and gossip. NACP members will also ignore such messages.
You will not privately message other moms on Facebook to get the gossip about what happened at practice.
When someone else's child gets a skill, you will exude nothing but joy for that child.
You will cheer / clap for all teams at a competition, teach your CP to do the same, and NOT visibly cheer when your CP's competitor drops a stunt (or other mishap).
You will NOT tell your CP they must get "X" skill because Susie got it and they MUST be better than them.
Nor will you take their cell phone away or otherwise punish them if they don't get "X" skill in the timeframe you have decided they should get it in.
You will also not bribe your CP with a new cell phone, or other electronic/digital device, for getting "X" skill.
You are a parent, not one of the kids on the team, you may look cool, but youíre not.
Thou shalt not under any circumstance leave a fog print on a gym window from watching too intently.
Thou shalt not pound on windows to get your CP’s attention.
Thou shalt not use sign language to yell at your child when they are out on the floor practicing, it's just as distracting to them as if you yelled it out loud.
Thou shalt not hold up nasty notes upon the Parent/Spectator Viewing window in the gym with the intent to coach your child. Doesn’t work. Rating cards are out of the question, too.
You will NOT allow CP to skip practices, unless there are family emergencies or hospital bound sickness/injures...and yes, you will bring in that doctor's note!
You will not let CP join extra curricular activities that will interfere with practice on a regular basis then expect all the other athletes and parents to be understanding.
Thou shalt not keep your child from going to practice because YOU don't think she is trying hard enough.
If something happens during a performance, you will not sit and badmouth your child’s teammate as soon as your child comes off the stage.
Under no circumstances will you ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever buy your CP, or any other CP, alcohol at Worlds. Even if the CP is 32 years old and on IOC 6.
You will know that SOMEONE had to pay for the snacks and drinks at the 3 hour practice called the week before competition and for the celebration cake with the picture of the team with their jackets and medals after the competition and you will give some $$ to the team mom to help pay for it.
Thou shalt not take†two months off at the beginning of the season (because we need a break) and then expect your CP to be front and center and fly.
You will not allow Suzie to take the summer off. Only to return in the fall because she soooo misses cheer.
If you decide to leave your gym, it will not be because CP did not make his/her team of choice. You will not un-friend friends from your previous gym on facebook, nor will you un-friend someone else who leaves the gym.†Unless proof is given that they talked smack about you and/or your CP prior to and/or immediately following departure, then this rule is null and void.
And once you have committed to another gym before the official end of the season, you won't dress our CP from head to toe in practice gear from the new gym for the last tumbling practice at the OLD gym.
You will not under any circumstances EVER wear your daughter's cheer bows, in public or in private†(which includes posting pictures of yourself wearing them on FB)... EVER!
Remember what the saying is about booty u ming (assuming).