The Geeky Parent Guide is a semi-monthly editorial series by Fanbase Press Contributor (and father of two) Travis Lakata that will help parents and other caregivers to safely and positively navigate various avenues of pop culture with their children.
Growing up is anything but easy, and we hope to see kids learning lessons from both real-world and fictional stories - whether that be understanding right from wrong or trust versus duplicity. What's challenging for parents is the overwhelming obstacle of letting our little ones learn on their own. (Oh, the last one is particularly challenging for me, but perhaps that’s also just as important for me to learn.) Thankfully, Star Wars Rebels: Season 2 is a fantastic way for parents to share these important themes for their kids to see.
As we start a new year, despite our renewal of hope in believing for better things to come, many things stay the same in terms of the challenges that parents and kids face with education in the face of the pandemic. Whether your kids are being homeschooled like mine or participating in virtual or in-person learning, education has taken a whole other meaning when it comes to the virtual wonder that is the internet. As a major space geek who loves Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’m constantly looking into what NASA is doing to further online educational opportunities for my kids, many of which focus on long-term answers to climate change.
As I sit here listening to the latest update from the governor of my state, I can’t help but look back on this past year as a geeky parent. More simply, as a parent. Even more so, another human being struggling to grapple with the continuity of this year’s timeline. What has it been like to be a geeky parent this past year? Well, it’s had its ups and downs – and all along the way, the struggle of feeling like a failure has been overwhelming.
The pandemic may be impact many of our family traditions this holiday season, but perhaps we might be able to offer some classic holiday flicks for them to watch. There are so many different movies that qualify for “tis the season,” but there are a handful of films that still have the ability to resonate, whether finding ways to your heart with wonderful storytelling or simply making you laugh by seeing the bad guys have a big fall.
Thanksgiving will look a lot different this year. With everyone struggling with the pandemic, it’s clear that our typical holiday traditions may not be possible right now. With the fall and winter holidays approaching quickly, it’s quite possible that some new traditions will need to take place – even if they only are around for a short while.
As we toggle through our family life and what that might look like now during a pandemic, we are all trying to find ways to make better use of our parenting time. This is especially true for all of the families who are working through virtual learning or homeschooling. So, what are families supposed to do when they want to find engaging activities or learning modules when it comes to educating their kids?
Halloween is a perfect opportunity for parents to share fun, thrilling, or even downright spooky stories with their kids. Yes, Halloween is definitely a time for witches and werewolves and ghosts - oh, my! But, it’s also a great time to engage with stories where your kids will definitely want to take part in, quite literally, when they capture the magic of dressing up in costume for the fall holiday.
One of the most important elements of the Geeky Parent Guide (GPG), which we hope to convey to parents, is the ability to communicate with their kids throughout their lives, connecting on geeky things, with the hopes of building a comfortable pattern of sharing thoughts, ideas, fears, and dreams. The Great British Bake Off, also known as The Great British Baking Show, provides a sense of positivity where contestants share their concerns over baking gaffs, while a sense of support comes from the hosts and other competitors.
Guts is a graphic novel and personal memoir in which writer/artist Raina Telgemeier shares what it was like to grow up with certain fears that manifested into physical pains. This story will resonate for any child (or parent with a child) who experiences anxiety in some way. Although not everyone will completely understand Telgemeier’s emetophobia (or extreme fear of vomiting), the anxiety it produced further pained her stomach, while also affecting her food choices.
Engaging kids with fun activities, especially when it involves some kind of science experiment, is a great way for parents to connect with their children. The process of learning how something works – say, building a balloon rocket – is one thing, but getting to see it in action is a completely different thing. When I get to see my own kids excitedly shout over seeing some of the STEM activities we worked on together, it’s the perfect excuse to continue doing more in the future.