I need a few cheerleading/sports suggestions...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm Cheer Mom for Duckie's squad and we have one girl that's really struggling because of her ADHD. She's a sweet kid but incredibly impulsive and distractible. She's actually in the Sunday School at my church, but what works in a classroom won't necessarily work here. I need some suggestions on how to help her stay on task so she can succeed. I've already had to listen to the cheer coordinator complain that this is why she's for try-outs.:mad: I explained that she's a great kid and writing off a seven year old shouldn't be an option. I've already moved the cheer mom table out where the coach's can send her (or others) over quickly if the child needs some re-directing. Maybe some kind of a hand signal from me and/or the coach to help pull her back in?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, if they count out loud during the dance practice - make her the counter. She will be forced to focus and will learn the dance at the same time.
    If it is doing the cheer part of a routine see if you can get her to make eye contact and be louder than she is now - maybe a loud contest.

    Giving her anything to focus on is what she needs. If she has trouble pointing her toes, or holding her hand in the right place - make that her focus.

    If she is an excellent perfomer and just has trouble focusing it is probably because she is ready to move on...have her help out someone else that is struggling.

    That is what I did as coach. I had a girl that ended up quitting the program, but her mom thanked me for being so patient with her. Apparently, it was the longest she lasted at any one sport. Her mom says it is due to the patience I showed her. The coach talking about try-outs for 7 year olds isn't going to help. If she was one of my coaches, I would want to know that she said that in an environment that parents overheard and possibly kids, too.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Tink has a girl on her squad (C) who is probably ADHD, more likely somewhere on the spectrum. Of course, she and Tink get along fabulously. Now the thing is, she is the coaches daughter! We almost lost our coach because C was getting frustrated and almost decided to quit the squad.

    At one point last week, the girls moved from their normal practice spot to another area of the park to practice a dance with the older cheerleaders. C had a pretty good meltdown and refused to join the other girls. Talk about putting mom on the spot! Coach had to go with the other girls and leave C behind.

    I was appalled at some of the other moms of girls on the squad, who mumbled under their breath that coach needs to keep her kid in line, what a brat she is, all she needs is a good beating. I defended C and the coach (who is doing a wonderful job with the girls) and went to talk to C.

    She really is a sweet kid, but there is definitely some sensory issues going on. The uniform is itchy, she does not like to do stunting because as one of the taller kids on the squad, she "gets" to be the base. Which means the other girls stand on her thighs. And it hurts her.

    I went to talk to the coach afterwards, and told her about Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and how Occupational Therapist (OT) is helping Tink. She was so grateful. C is back on the squad for sure, and has a special T-shirt to wear under her itchy uniform. She also massages her legs before stunting, which has helped her a great deal.

    I also like Busywend's idea about challenging her. if that applies. Another thing that helped our entire squad, not just C, was to have a junior coach. One of the girls who dropped out of the varsity squad has agreed to help our coach with the girls, and they really like having her there. Now, coach can continue with whatever she is doing, and Jr coach can help individuals if they are having a hard time.

    I really hope this helps!
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Well, S is fortunate that she isn't the only difficult child on the squad (Duckie). The part that gets me is that Duckie's behavior has been just as bad but she is receiving more support than S. One mom wondered where S's mother was during practice... I explained that she is helping with the next older group (with S's sister) since they had no team mom.

    Things went better tonight. I talked to S before practice started and touched base during break. We even chatted after practice. She only needed a few corrections, which is very good for her. I made sure she knew what the expectation of her behavior are... and reminded her that there's usually time to run around and play while the parents are packing up. It seemed to help.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I'm glad. S is lucky to have you there as an advocate for her.

    Out of curiosity, do the girls cheer for a team? Or is this strictly for competition?

    Seriously, is there anything cuter than girls at that age cheering? I'm suddenly SUCH a cheer mom.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It's for the school's pee wee football team... and they are cute!
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Just to play devil's advocate here--I think it's good sometimes to recall that there is a different perspective when one hasn't walked in your shoes. You know about difficult child kids, you know more about Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) than even the child's mother does. Sometimes kids do misbehave because they're being bratty. I don't know that it would be a good thing if the general public became so sensitive that it would think "disorder" every time they see a misbehaving or tantruming kid.

    Even though I'm a parent of a difficult child, I'm getting a taste of the other side of the fence through my easy child daughter. She started school this week and a change has been made to full inclusion. My daughter is a good kid/excellent student who (to her frustration) is often seated where she can be a buffer to others who are talkers, behavioral problems, etc. So she comes home the first day and tells me that on one side she has a boy who is very ADHD and a huge behavioral problem. On her other side she has one of the kids who was moved in with the new inclusion program and he never stops moving/talking and is constantly trying to copy off her paper. I have enough background to sympathize with what's going on here and I'm frustrated for her because the rights of others mean the educational setting isn't in her best interests. She's generally the most emphathetic kid when it comes to children with special needs so I know she's going nuts. Can you just imagine what a parent who doesn't have the background would be feeling?
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    SRL, I agree the easy child's shouldn't suffer... but the difficult children shouldn't be tossed aside either. This is a community-based organization that preaches a chance for all kids. And that includes the difficult children. in my opinion, the onus is on the adults to provide a fulfilling experience for all the kids. It can be challenging, but it is so worth it to make a positive impact. Creative problem solving is in order, not cutting the child.

    I think the easy child's do well to see the difficult children learn and grow along side them, especially in a sporting situation where teamwork and fair play are the standard. There truly is value in every one of these kids.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I was looking through some of my older posts and wanted to update when I came across it.

    Our little difficult child, S, was chosen at the team's most improved cheerleader. Her mother fought back tears at the banquet when the award was announced. As did I. :beautifulthing:
  10. compassion

    compassion Member

    I think individual sports are better . My difficult child has played organized sports, minly soccer and now volleyball since age 8. She does best with stucturea nd the current situation is more accepting of differences, which I have chosen but the lckof structure makes it challneging at times. I often have to provide the structure, make sure she is there so she can hep with line judging. She is doing privae lesson whcih helps a lot with focus. I really try to ramn encouraging and postive with all the girls and in all the situations. My first priprity though is being an advocate for her. It is lull righ now, travel does not start until January. There is a clinic and open gym and we are doing private lesson this Sunday. My gfgd is very high enrgy and very athletic so sports have been genrally a good outlet. Compassion
  11. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    WAY TO GO S! CONGRATS to her! :bravo::bravo::congrats::cheerleader: