I learned this lesson the hard way this weekend.

We were hanging out as a family watching some of the Men’s NCAA Tournament games and the camera man panned his shot to show the cheerleaders before going to commercial. And then he said it…My younger son said “Mama, cheerleaders are dumb.”

This pretty much stopped me in my tracks and caught me off guard. I know I haven’t said that cheerleaders are dumb. I know I have said that I think it’s “dumb” that they are on the sidelines instead of being with the other fans, cheering on the team. I have friends who were cheerleaders and they were:

  • Athletic
  • Competitive
  • Dedicated
  • Supportive

Definitely not dumb…

Then it hit me that I have said it is “dumb” that instead of showing cheerleading competitions, they make a big deal of showing scantily clad cheerleaders¬†(mostly women) cheering the team on from the sidelines. I’m not one to be on the sidelines. I would rather be in the game and it frustrates me that they show young women only in this sideline fashion. Having said that, that is just my opinion. I have never been a cheerleader so I cannot speak from personal experience. I just think that it’s a sport and the way it is portrayed on television and the media does not support that.

So, after a bit of a discussion with my husband I realized that I need to take ownership of mis-using the word “dumb” as I could have used a lot of other descriptors. And honestly, it upset me that my son used a blanket statement of “cheerleaders are dumb.” I have been against blanket statements my whole life and here is my son using this…

I learned the hard way that while I may talk and write a lot, that I still need to be thoughtful of my choice of words. Because you never know when someone is actually listening…