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Kids’ Question: My Mom Won’t Support Me

Hi Rene,

It’s Sharon here.  I’m a high school freshman who has always dreamed of being a cheerleader. I love cheerleading and when I watch the football games with my dad, I get so excited when the girls come out to cheer on the players.

My dad is pretty supportive but my mom says that I’ll never make it as a cheerleader. I’m short, about 5 feet tall, and I’m not a very good dancer. My mom says that I shouldn’t waste my time and that I’ll just embarrass myself.

I don’t agree with her and think I should still try out for the cheerleading team.

Rene, Did anyone every feel you weren’t good enough for something, yet you tried it anyway? What do you think I should do?

Sharon, Ohio



Hi Sharon:

Thanks for writing in about this. I actually think there’s more than meets the eye here. Let me tell you a story.  When I was in college, I had a journalism professor who stood up in class one day and told us all that, try as we might, chances were high that none of us would ever become a news anchor. He told us about the competition and how there just weren’t that many slots available in newsrooms around the country. I left the classroom, stunned but determined to prove him wrong. And boy did I. In my first TV job, I started out as a reporter, learned how to anchor and made it all the way to the network in that capacity! I guess my professor was wrong, eh? I know what he was trying to do and it’s the same thing I think your mom is doing with you.  So let me break it down.

*YOUR MOM IS TRYING TO PROTECT YOU: I honestly think her reaction is not so much about not supporting you rather about her trying to protect you from disappointment. You’ll know what I mean when and if you become a parent. As parents we try to keep our kids from being hurt but that’s really impossible to do. What I do with my own kids since I cannot protect them from the inevitable, I just prepare them for it. I try to teach them what to do when things don’t go their way, which is a tool they will use the rest of their lives.

*TALK TO YOUR MOM: Now that you understand the reasoning behind why she said what she did, you can sit down and talk to her. Tell her that you understand there is a chance you won’t make the team but there’s also a chance you WILL! The only sure answer you have is if you don’t try at all and what fun would that be? Life is an amazing, wonderful journey full of twists and turns, excitement and disappointment. But it’s really a full contact sport; in other words you need to attack it with gusto, instead of hedging your bets all the time. It’s one thing to prepare for the possibility you will not make the team, it’s something completely different to not urge you to try at all. There’s a fine line between urging you to use caution and crushing your dreams.

*FOLLOW YOUR DREAM: Since we’re talking about dreams, I want to leave you with this. To me there are few things worse in life than having regrets. Think about it. If you listen to your mom and don’t try out, think how you’ll feel every time you watch the cheerleaders from the stands. You’ll look at them and say, “I could do that.” or “That could be me!” As I said before, the only sure fire answer you have will be the one you get from not trying.

Here’s the deal, Sharon. No one is born great! They may have the raw skills but that talent has to be honed and refined. The only way that happens is through practice and determination. You’re a freshman and may be all of 5 feet tall now but you might grow 4 inches in the next three months. Or not – and that will be okay too. You can practice to become a better dancer; do some research on well-known dancers and how they got started. Take some classes and get on YouTube to learn steps. Put your head down, be determined then go try out. You can do this, I know you can and no matter how it turns out, be proud of the fact that at least you tried!

Do you have a question for a mom but don’t want to ask YOUR mom? Click here and Ask Rene!






  1. Irene

    May 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Sharon…our squad would have loved you…top girls in stunts shorter the better…

    Little story: we had a super mom type….she told me at a meeting once not to get my hopes up if my daughter didn’t make their highschool nationally ranked squad…I looked at her flippently because I wasn’t trying out?!? my daughter was!!! well, during the try out phase I run into super mom at the grocer….she was getting water and snacks for the judges it was try outs…so she asks if my daughter ended up giving try outs a shot….I was like sure…she said what is her name? I replied xxxxx….she said oh my gosh your daughter is a natural?!? Then she proceeds to want to know why she hadn’t met my daughter on the competition circuit. Well, duh, my daughter did community league cheer (which we all know is way beneath super mom status)….Oh well….

    Have a heart to heart with mom…she could be worried about the safety because it is a dangerous sport. She could be worry about the financial end (it costs a fortune but we had squad members that fundraised and worked and paid their own fees)…it could be many things. I know in our house just knowing our daughter loved it was enough for us.

    If all else fails…leave a card under her pillow with warm wishes and thank yous and remind mom You never know until you try.

    good luck

  2. KeeKee AllNatural

    May 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    This one is deep. The only way a child will ever learn about adversity is to allow them to try new things. Also Mom’s, our children learn from us. It is not OK for a mom to have a negative attitude against something her child is doing especially when it’s positive. There are plenty of things this child could be into that is negative but she choose to do something positive such as Cheering. I am wishing this young lady and her mom luck. I hope they can sit down and talk about it & come to an understanding.

  3. Jennifer

    May 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    What is it with these unsupportive parents???? The only way anyone, young or old, is going to find out what they’re made of, and what they can do, is if they try!

    I understand full well that parents don’t want their children to get hurt, myself included, but seriously, how are they going to learn about disappointment? Not everything in life is wrapped up in a box with a bow … as in perfection.

    Sharon, if that makes you happy, go for it. Prove your mom wrong … follow your heart. Ask her if she’d like to join you at the try-outs, you would love to let her see you shine your brightest. Or not. It’s up to you. l wish you well …

  4. m.e. johnson

    May 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Remind Mom: Did she try to stop you from
    > Learning to walk
    > Learning to talk
    > Learning to read
    > Learning to write
    > Learning to ride a bike, and so on and so on.

    You tried and practiced until you got it right, yes? So learn, try and practice, then go for it. Listen to Rene.

  5. Will Jones

    May 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Great answer!!!

    For their entire lives, our kids will have people telling them they can’t dop things. Why start it at home? I tell my kids, anything they want to try, jump into it, work at it for long enough to say you really tried, and if you don’t do it well, or if you find it’s not for you, jump into something else… but don’t be scared to jump!

  6. Tiffany

    May 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Go for it, Sharon! I was a cheerleader in high school (in Ohio, too, actually). I hit my current height – 5’10” – my sophomore year of high school & towered over everyone in my squad. At first, I felt really awkward about it, but I grew to love being different. And you know what, I did just fine. You will, too! Good luck!

  7. April Brucker

    May 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Sharon, go for it. As a smaller girl you are able to tumble more and the squad always needs fliers. As for the not being able to dance well, that can be learned. I was never brave enough to cheer in high school but from what I understood the captains were not the most talented girls but the ones with the most spirit. While you might make it, while you may not, you should still go for it. That way you can say not only that you went for it but that you have no regrets looking back whether you are waving your pom poms on the field or on the sidelines. While your mother is protecting you from disappointment just remember, you never know if you will fly on that straddle jump or fall on your ass if you are sitting on your ass. So go get ’em Tiger!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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