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How to Raise a Nerd, Geek, or Dork
It's never to early to make sure your child retains his or her virginity well into the college years. Some parents works towards this goal with intense religious instruction emphasizing fire and damnation for all eternity with corporal punishment in the short term. Others consider virginity a by-product of a life well lived. By cultivating appropriate nerd hobbies and interests in your child you won't have to worry about teen pregnancy and drug use. Costumes and computers may play a significant role in your house but it's a small price to pay for never pulling a used condom out of the washing machine. If you have a child and know what "roll for damage" means you're well on your way to raising a nerd, geek, or dork.
A quick PhotoShop and your child will be Super Librarian!
It's not just a Kindergarten reader, it's an introduction to the most important movies of all time.
Some parents stockpile embarrassing photos and plan to scare off a child's potential mates later. The true nerd parent takes pictures of nerd pride moments and prominently displays them around the house. The child is encouraged to internalize a view of himself as dork of the first order. The child should see pictures of himself dirty, oddly dressed, or in the company of weirdos and think, "I look really happy doing that." He may have heard mixed reviews of the awkward wonder of sex but he should know first hand that all the cool people are at DragonCon and they're too busy gaming for much else.
All nerds and associated social misfits (dorks, dweebs, geeks, etc.) love Star Wars. Although the special effects in the only films worth watching, the original trilogy, now look painfully dated an intense love of Luke and Leia can be cultivated with a little work. Ebay sells more collectibles than anyone could ever hope to collect. If the toys are already out of the original package go ahead and play with them! Lightsabers exist so that kid can hit their parents with sticks and claim they were battling the Dark Side. Do you want a body free of odd bruises or do you want to hop around your house making the sounds of a laser cutting the air? It takes a nerd to raise a nerd so go ahead and say, "I am your father," in a threatening but loving tone.
A plastic spoon will launch a marshmallow but it's less awesome than a catapult.
Yes, of course you let little Martha pick her own hobbies. When she said, "Daddy I want to be a firefighter," you said, "That's wonderful dear." When she said, "Daddy what's that?" you pulled her onto your lap for a loving and illustrated dissertation on manga (including warning her off hentai) followed by a few hours studying classic animation on YouTube.
Parents guide their children both intentionally and accidentally. You might as well guide them into something that serves your overall plan. Intense interest in one of the following is a short cut down the nerd brick road.
- Microscopic photography
- Video Games
- Catapults and Trebuchets
- Postcard exchange
- Rock collecting
- Comic Books
A precocious vocabulary should develop on it's own. If your child is engaged in proper nerd hobbies and attending as many Cons as possible she'll be exposed to adults who are both prone to multi-syllabic speech and fully versed in niche vocabulary. The words will naturally become incorporated into you child's speech, suitably alienating her from all but her own kind. Some might find this cruelly isolating while others think only a boy who understands the difference between velocity and speed is truly worthy of their little Princess Leia.
Science + Fantasy? The force is strong in this one.
Some parents meticulously dress their children in high fashion and insist that these clothes be kept pristine. Those raising a nerd should purchase a collection of t-shirts and pants, place them in drawers in the child's room, and say, "Get dressed," once per day. If your child is prone to spontaneous nudity or stickiness repeat the last step as needed.
The t-shirts should contain vintage logos, obscure cartoon characters, or science themes. Pants may be simple jeans but patterns and colors on stretch knit are encouraged for girls. Boys should own at least two pairs of cords, the louder the better, and one pair of pants that double the child's body weight when all ten pockets are full.
Please use the comments to share your best nerd parenting tips. If all goes according to plan (it never does) I'll have a guide to fun, educational (also known as nerdy) holiday gifts tomorrow.