The Geeky Parents’ Guide to Raising a Superhero

headerWant your little geek to grow up to be a superhero? Of course you do! So here are a few tips and hints for making that dream come true!

For as long as I can remember (and this includes during coffee this morning), I’ve always wanted to be a superhero. I didn’t necessarily need the ability to fly or run at super speeds (though those would certainly be welcome!), because Batman sure didn’t have those things, but I wanted to be someone who devoted his life to righting wrongs and putting the bad guys behind bars. And I’m pretty sure, if you’re as geeky as me, you did, too!

Fortunately for me, my dad always made me feel like a superhero. He encouraged me to explore my talents, he taught me the difference between right and wrong (a much more difficult task than it sounds!) and always made me feel that I was in every way super.

I remember that and I cherish that.

So I’m going to pass on a bit of my experience being raised as a superhero to you! Because I honestly can’t think of a better way to grow up.

And I honestly can’t think of a better way to raise my kids.

So, here you go! My geeky parents’ guide to raising a superhero!

Gadgets & Gizmos: Have a Tech-Progressive Family!

gadgetsIt’s no secret that our world as become far more than just inundated with technology–it’s actually become founded in it. So much of what we do in our day-to-day requires the companionship of a device of some kind–smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, even bracelets that monitor our health (like the awesome Fitbit Flex). Even if you wanted to separate yourself from gadgets and gizmos, it might be almost impossible to do so now.

And you know your kids are in the same boat.

So instead of being the parent who fears that your kid is getting way too much exposure to digital doodads, turn the tables. Introduce and even encourage the use of such devices. As long as you pair that with a mutual understanding that they also need to get out of the house and hang out with friends and explore the woods from time to time, there’s nothing wrong with being a champion of the Digital Age.

That doesn’t mean you have to go buy iPhones and iPads and other expensive “adult” tech. There are tons of tablets, laptops, and even phones that are designed specifically for kids. These provide a ton of opportunity for parental control and were created with education and creativity in mind.

Almost every superhero has his or her own special gadgets they use to fight crime. So, in order to get your kid to attain Batman-level heroism, it’s a good idea to un-distance yourself from your kids’ desire to explore technology and instead become the cool parent who endorses and even provides it.

Check out these previous Geeks Raising Geeks articles for some tech gift ideas:

Every Hero Needs a Sidekick: That’s YOU!

batman and robinSure, the popularity of the sidekick seems to be falling by the wayside these days (each of them making their way to other teams on their own like Yong Justice, Young Avengers, Teen Titans, etc.), but just about all of our favorite heroes had them when we were growing up.

Think about it: Batman had Robin (a lot of them actually), Superman had Jimmy Olsen, Aquaman had Aqualad, Green Arrow had Speedy, Wonder Woman had Wonder Girl, heck even Plastic Man had Woozy Winks (how’s that for archaic?).

The real-world reason for them was, of course, to amplify kids’ interest in comics, so they’d buy more issues. But the comic-world reason was much less money-minded:

Superheroes have sidekicks because they need someone to teach, someone to brave grave dangers with, someone to keep them in check, someone they could count on in an emergency to have their backs.

Your kid needs a sidekick, too.

And that sidekick is you!

In order to raise a true superhero in your family, you need to oftentimes take the passenger seat while your kid drives across town to get the bad guys. (Figuratively, of course!) They need you to support them in crises, offer a helping hand when they need one and offer an attentive ear when they have something (anything) important to say.

You can still be a hero in your own right (Older Justice, Older Avengers, Middle-Aged Titans!), but you need to let your kid be the main character in his or her own story. They need to feel proud of who they are and what they do and it’s your job to encourage that.

Still thinking that I was being a bit hyperbolic when I said all our favorite superheros growing up had sidekicks? Then check this out!

Truth, Justice and the American Way: Raise an Upstanding Kid!

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(Photo Courtesy of Neato Shop)

Superheroes are super because they have awesome talents. They’re heroes, though, because they have an incredible sense of honor, duty, courage, loyalty and respect for their fellow men and women.

Even if you don’t have the desire to raise your kid as a superhero (really? yes, you do!), these are traits that every parent should work tirelessly to instill in their little ones.

Can I tell you exactly how to go about doing that? No, it’s a super complex philosophy of child-rearing that I’m not qualified to lay out. (Not without getting at least three more PhDs than I already have, which is none).

But I can say this: nothing works better to teach your kids how a true hero behaves than by leading with example. Be a hero yourself. Help the old lady across the street, forgive the nincompoop who has done you wrong, respect the people around you and find productive ways of letting off steam.

It’s easy for me to say you need to do these things, but I know it’s a hard path to tread. Just do your best. Because you know what? Your kid is going to notice. I guarantee it!

For more help on how to raise your kid to be an upstanding citizen, check out these other GRG articles:

Developing a Superhero Skills: Encourage Your Kids’ Talents!

tony stark in labEverybody has a talent, and every hero has extraordinary ones. If you want your kid to grow up to be the superhero you know she can be, take the time and put in the effort to encourage the growth of those talents!

  • If your little geek has an interest in science, have fun doing experiments with them.
  • If your little geek has an interest in engineering, build some awesome Lego sets with them.
  • If your little geek has an interest in computers, look at some kid-friendly programming books with them.
  • If your little geek has an interest in athletics, sign them up for their favorite sport.

You get the idea. Never dissuade your kiddos from expanding their gifts. (Unless, of course, those gifts are ones that might take them on the path to the Dark Side…)

Check out these GRG articles for some ideas:

Costume is Key: Suit Up!

superME

(Photo Courtesy SuperME Hero)

And finally, no superhero is complete without a killer costume.

If you or your little geek is taking this guide literally (like, he or she wants to be a real superhero), then you gotta get the outfit down.

Of course, Halloween is the best time to explore your options, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to don a cape and cowl every other day of the year!

This one is less about raising your kid to be an upstanding citizen than it is about having fun. Having a great time with your kids is ultra important to their positive development.

(Which I guess means that it really is about raising an upstanding citizen.)

So be sure to check out their interest in dressing up, whether it’s for home movies, heading to comic conventions (in which case, dressing up is totally mandatory) or just going shopping.

Need some ideas for costumes? Here are a couple GRG articles to help you out:

As my dad taught me all those years ago (and continues to teach me today), there’s no reason you can’t raise your little geek to be a superhero. Following these few bits of advice is a great place to start.

But there’s so much more you can do, too! What are your favorite ways of teaching your kids that they really can be super? Any more tips? Let’s make a big list in the comments below!

(Header photos courtesy Huffington Post)

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About Peter Diseth

Geek-tician and Sci-Fi-nancier, Peter has been honing his research for Geeks Raising Geeks for better than three decades. He makes a living creating web content for individuals and businesses, both local and international. He's also a veteran actor of stage and screen, and doing this makes "making a living" worthwhile. Peter is also the sole creator of NewsAttire.com (a satirical news blog in the vein of The Onion) and a once-contributor to WhatCulture.

Peter lives in New Mexico with the three loves of his life: his wife Kate, his kitty Kitty, and his vast library of well-loved and well-worn genre fiction.

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Comments

  1. One thing that kids have over adults is a better range of superhero costumes they can get, so jelly!

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