How to Raise Your Kid to Be Like Indiana Jones

Indy with WhipThe fedora. The leather jacket. The travel-worn satchel. The bullwhip. The holy-freakin-grail.

You know you’ve always wanted to be Indiana Jones, that archaeologist, professor, adventurer and heroic finder of lost antiquities.

C’mon.  You know you did.

And when you found yourself settling down to a life far less dangerous, though no less gratifying, you weren’t depressed. Because you always have the flicks. (Of course, I’m speaking of the first three. We will not, not, NOT mention the latest monstrosity that claims to be a so-called continuation of the series… But if you want to find out other awful movie sequels that you should never show your geek, then click here).

But must you be content with living vicariously through Harrison Ford’s iconic turn as the bold explorer on the silver screen? Raiders Idol Trade Not anymore! Now that you have a child, who you are responsible for raising and guiding and teaching and leading, it is possible to cultivate your very own Indy under your own roof!

How to Make Indiana Jones One of the Family

Indiana Jones Temple FamilyIt’s obviously a terrible idea to force your son or daughter into any singular lifestyle.

Unless they scoff at Firefly or Raiders–then you have everyone’s permission to force away.

But it’s totally reasonable, and even somewhat noble, to raise your kid with some of Indy’s values, ideals, and traits in mind. This article is about nurturing your kid using Indiana Jones as a blueprint.

Again I repeat, you really shouldn’t force him or her to do anything. (Besides watch and love Firefly and Raiders.) But you can just…gently…nudge them in this direction.

Here are a few ways you can do just that.

Adventure Time!

First and foremost, Indiana Jones is an adventurer. The stories would be nothing without a quest, some conflict, and an exciting victory.

You should instill in your kid a love of adventure from an early age. How do you do this?

First of all, limit the amount of time they’re allowed to sit slack-jawed in front of their smartphones, iPads, laptops, and televisions.

Yes, there are certainly ways to cultivate a sense of adventure with these gadgets, but if all Indiana Jones ever did was snatch rubies from a game of Bejeweled Blitz then nobody would love those movies.

Instead, get them outside. Take them to the park, on a walk through the woods, or on a camping trip up the mountains. If they’re going to be adventurers, they need to have a firsthand relationship with nature.

If they think walking, hiking, or camping is boring–which they honestly might–then shake things up a bit. Turn your outing into a treasure hunt.

Give them clues that lead them to more clues that lead them to even more clues than eventually take them to a McGuffin-like goal. And let’s be honest. That would be just as much fun for you as it would be for them. Indiana X Marks

Book Smarts

A Wrinkle in TimeIndiana Jones is more than just a dude who wanders around nature until he finds some sacred artifact. The guy is a university professor of anthropology.Which means…he’s got brains to spare!

If you want a little Indiana Jones under your roof, you have to make sure that they love learning as much as they do adventuring. One of the best ways to do this is by getting them to read, and read often.

There are countless book series for young adults out there that your kids will fall in love with at the same time that they get even more taste for adventure.

Some of the better ones include:

It would also help to get them excited about languages. Studies have proven that learning multiple languages is easiest when the student is young.

So it wouldn’t hurt to enroll them in those Ancient Aramaic and Petroglyph classes as early as possible.

Street Smarts

Indiana Fistfight

Indiana Jones has a sense of adventure and is certainly book smart, but he wouldn’t have much of a chance in a fistfight with a giant Nazi if he didn’t have some street smarts, too.

Obviously you don’t want your kid beating everyone up who crosses his or her path. But if you want to make sure they can hold their own against fascist monsters hell-bent on world domination, think about getting them into a martial arts class.

Not only is this good for the whole Indiana Jones clone project we’re running here, but it’s also beneficial in a very real sense. Martial arts teach kids about self-respect, self-control, and self-defense, all of which are very important selfs.

It also wouldn’t hurt to teach them a few things about:

  • Climbing on the outside of submarines
  • Flying World War II-era fighter planes
  • Ducking when previously unseen blades come whizzing at their heads
  • Surviving wild mine-cart rides.

You know…if you’re professional in any of those areas.

Holding Out for a Hero

Adventuring skills, language arts, and martial mastery are infinitely important in the cultivation of your own mini Indiana Jones, but don’t forget that super villains tend to have these qualities, too.

What you want is a Hero.

So you have to impart the Wisdom of a Hero to your little guy or gal. This means teaching them about the importance of:

  • Courage
  • Loyalty
  • Perseverance
  • Compassion
  • and Nobility

Naturally, it is not easy to just drape these traits on another human being. The best you can do, in my humble opinion, is lead by example. And if this means you get to doff the metaphorical fedora yourself, well then, that ain’t half bad, is it? Indiana the Charmer

Oh, and Definitely the Bullwhip

But seriously, if you want to raise an Indiana Jones, you must, must, MUST provide a bullwhip for your child and train them how to grab branches and smack away Lugers with it. There are books you can read, but if you’re as addicted to the Bejeweled-laden gadgets as your kids probably are, check out this fella’s many YouTube videos.

Adam, it appears, is a straight-up wizard with the whip.

And Cue the John Williams Score!

If you’ve followed these many suggestions, chances are that you have now successfully raised an Indiana Jones.

Congratulations! And you know what? Even if it didn’t work out, your kid now has the qualities necessary to be a serious bad-ass in the world of tomorrow.

And besides… There’s always the possibility of grand-children, isn’t there?

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About Perry Rosenbloom

Perry Rosenbloom is a Geeky Dad trying to raise a Geeky Son. He is the founder of GeeksRaisingGeeks and enjoys everything from killing orcs & trolls to building ergonomic workstations. When not at his Sit/Stand desk, he can be found adventuring throughout Colorado with his family.

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