A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cheer Perfection follows in the footsteps of Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms by focusing on the extremes coaches and parents will go to while training kids to excel at performing. Kids may be drawn to the cheerleading, but the moms' endless catty behavior sends a pretty negative message about women's relationships with each other and the nature of competition. There's some occasional strong language, some arguing, and drinking at adult social gatherings. Cheerleaders are often shown falling down hard or complaining of injury and being encouraged to keep going.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
From the creators of Toddlers & Tiaras comes CHEER PERFECTION, a reality series that showcases a competitive all-star cheerleading gym and the squads training to win. It stars professional cheer coach Alisha Dunlap, who, along with her husband Rd, co-owns and runs Cheer Time Revolution (CTR) in Sherwood, Arkansas. While the girls work to please the unapologetically demanding duo, some of the girls' moms engage in their own behind-the-scenes competition, from squabbling with each other over their children's talents in the gym, to negotiating their daughters' placement on the various -- and more elite -- squads. But Alisha tries to stay out of the drama, while making sure that the girls on her squads do nothing less than their best.
Is it any good?
Cheer Perfection offers a look at the world of competitive cheerleading, which requires talent, hard work, tough coaching, and a strong spirit to be successful. But the show's real drama comes from the endless cat fighting between the cheerleaders' mothers, many of who proudly admit to living through their daughters, and who place lots of pressure on them to be perfect and to win -- sometimes even when they are injured. Some of the gossipy women appear committed to sabotaging one another to improve their and their daughters' status in the gym.
Regardless of whether the mothers' overall behavior is being created and/or magnified for reality entertainment's sake, it ultimately sends mixed messages about encouraging kids to do their best vs. pushing kids too hard to succeed. Scenes showing some of Dunlap's coaching tactics, which sometimes appear more critical than constructive when taken out of context, also adds to this. Young cheerleading fans might be drawn to it, but this is best left for older viewers who can understand the manufactured element of this mama drama.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the mothers behave on this show. Do you think the tension between the moms is real? Could there be a way of making this show interesting and dramatic without these conflicts? Why are there so many shows about women fighting with each other?
Parents: How can you encourage your kids to do their best without pushing your kids too far? Is the way the coaches on this show go about communicating always constructive? Do they go too far?
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