Lighting Her Fire


What do you do when your child shows an unrelenting interest in something? A passion and drive you’d only hoped they’d someday find?

It came out of nowhere. One day she was taking tumbling lessons and admiring the cheer squad at the gym. The next she’s donning the uniform herself. Practicing on her own morning, afternoon and night. Watching videos about stretching and jumping, and improving her skills.

I can see a fire has ignited within her and I’m doing my best to help fan the flames with encouragement, and not unintentionally put it out.

I can’t help but wonder if this is another phase. We’ve been through gymnastics, dance, and tumbling. She’s concurrently doing art and piano. Is cheerleading just another hobby to add to her elementary resume? Or perhaps could this be something more?

Helping your child follow their passions. Parenting an all-star youth cheerleader level 1.

“Do your best” is one of my mantras. I hope that she’ll stay motivated, and I mean, let’s be real, this isn’t a cheap hobby.

“Have fun,” is another. And even more important. This is the age to explore interest and hobbies and who knows what this one will lead to… Skills for another sport at worst, an olympic medal (her goals, not mine) at best.

This is just the beginning. I mean, we’re barely a month into practices. Competitions start in October. There’s a long way to go. But right now, as I watch her eyes light up and see her determination take center stage, I feel so lucky to witness this awakening. And I can’t help but hope it’s here to stay.

Helping your child follow their passions. All-star youth cheerleader level 1.

Do you remember when I was pregnant with this kid? I mean, this is a little unbelievable. My little girl has been trading her princess dresses for protein shakes. And doing a little less dress-up and a little more drills. So, if you want to follow along on my daughter’s all-star cheer journey you can keep an eye on her Instagram profile (@CheerfulJayda). We’re trying to update it every day or two with her progress. And our YouTube vlog is quickly turning into a cheer mom/ cheer life theme. So if you’re into that check in for those videos once a week. I’ll still be here plugging away, doing my thing and supporting my boys as well. But overall I think things are about to start getting a bit more CHEERful around here.

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  1. My son is the same with lacrosse. He is obsessed, mostly in a good way! He’s always been into sports–born into a sport-minded family (both of us worked in sports, my husband still does) and from the time he could walk around with something in his hand, he usually had a bat, ball, or hockey or lacrosse stick in it. He gets so frustrated with his brother, whose interests are more varied (sometimes sports, sometimes cars, sometimes superheroes), because he really wants him to play sports all the time, like him…though because his brother is nearly five years younger, his ability (or lack thereof) frustrates him, too! He’s gone through many phases of varying sports, but it seems like lacrosse is really the one to stick. He started learning to play when he was 2 or 3, and has been playing on a team since he was five. He’s nine now and we just finished his first season of travel lacrosse. It’s a huge investment (not just the fees, but the hotels and general travel expenses), but the organization we picked has a fantastic focus on faith and character-building, and I can really see now how important this experience is to him. He’s grown as a person and a player. I was skeptical in the beginning, but after a year I can really see the progression. And if he stops loving it someday? We’ll definitely have to have a heart-to-heart about why, to make sure it isn’t something that can be easily fixed, but all you can do is feed your child’s passion for as long as it lasts and show them that you’re in their corner. I guess there are limitations (do they really need that new piece of expensive equipment? or that pricey camp?), but I think as long as we are helping them pursue their passion and keep moving forward, we’re doing our job as parents.

    1. I’m TOTALLY with you! And WOW! I can’t believe your son has gotten so into lacrosse over the last year. I mean, I can cause these things happen fast, but I don’t hear of little kids loving that sport often. How was he introduced? I hope he continues to love it. I was just thinking “OMG what if my daughter decides she doesn’t like cheer anymore in a year or so?” Like after all this investment. But like you said, I think a good talk about it, see if we can fix it, and then being ok if the love just isn’t there anymore (and hopefully funnel that passion productively elsewhere). But crossing our fingers our kiddos stick with this for a bit. haha. It’s fun to watch right?!

  2. Ahh, this is such a bittersweet post. I have a two-year-old little one who just began gymnastics. She loves it and I can see her getting really into it one day. Enjoy this precious time you get to spend with her momma! She’ll be grown and out of the house sooner than you’d like!

    1. Thank you so much Angelique. Oh man, yea I don’t want to think THAT far ahead. haha. I hope your little one continues to love gymnastics, or other hobbies!

  3. This is awesome! It is so exciting seeing children find their passion and truly want to go forward with it and put their all into it! You truly see your child grow into their own person and see what they want to do.

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