- Your Child insists on being called 'Clark' or 'Bruce'.
If the daycare or pre-k instructor informs you that your child is refusing to acknowledge their real name and insists on being referred to as his favorite character's mundane identity, you know you're raising a geek.
- Your Child owns more Costumes than the Gender preferred favorite toy.
Forget the toy box, barbie case, or hot wheels storage... all your kid needs is a wardrobe. Your child owns every costume for whatever series they're into (all 12 Doctors, or every character in the Marvel Universe). We're not talking cheap-y Halloween costumes either. Your kid wouldn't be caught dead in one of those mock costumes. You know, the one's with the character's pictures sewn on the front. Oh no, your kid requires cosplay worthy threads. And, with all the accessories to boot. If your kid spends more time in a costume than in regular clothes, you know you're raising a geek.
- Every animal in the house has a name that no one else would understand.
You tried to be a good parent and let your child pick the family pets' names. Instantly, you regret it. Now you have a goldfish named Deadpool, a cat named Lando, and a dog named Dick Grayson. If you're wondering, we've had some interesting names around here... a pair of chickens were named Captain America and Winter Soldier. My cat's name is Watson. And we've had rabbits named Amy, Rory, and Doctor. My daughter has even followed this trend, naming her goats Mr. Tumness and Edmund, after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe characters. If your kid names your animals after their favorite fandom, you know you're raising a geek.
- Comic-con is your child's Disney World.
Forget Mickey Mouse... your child has the date on the calendar circled of the next major comic-con and is already planning their costume by the guest list announced. He understands that Mickey is just a man in a suit and could care less. He's more excited about possibly getting to pee next to Adam West in the hotel bathroom (Yes, my son still raves about using the bathroom at the same time as the legendary Batman). If your child is known on the con-circuit for having the best costumes, you know you're raising a geek.
- Your child's career plans focus on his fandom.
Whether it means drawing for DC comics one day or becoming an engineer with the specific goal of building an Iron Man suit, your child has specific goals in mind that stem from their beloved fandom. If your child has given up the usual little kid goals of being an astronaut, fireman, or princess for becoming the next Doctor Who Showrunner (yes, that's my kid), you know you're raising a geek.
- Your child finds it hard to play with others not interested in the same things.
Let's face it, exploring a new planet or visiting Earth 2,000 years in the future is so much better than a game of touch football or playing barbies, but other kids don't seem to be able to follow the rules! It's hard for non-fandom children to play along when they can't grasp the concept of time travel or how kryptonite works. Yes, you can travel in time, but no - you can't change fixed points in time because timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly stuff and No, Luke and Leia can't end up together because they're brother and sister, that's why is a lot for non-fan to grasp. If your child gets frustrated trying to explain the rules of time travel and relative dimensions in space to other kids, you know you're raising a geek.
- Your Child won't acknowledge the middle school he or she will be attending in the future because they're waiting on their Hogwarts letter.
Other kids talk about their future plans and what teachers they would like to get, but not your kid. Oh no, they won't be attending the local school with the rest of the Muggles, because they'll be joining Dumbledore at Hogwarts. The only reason they haven't gotten their letter is strictly because they're not 11 years old yet. If your kid is waiting on his owl messenger, you know you're raising a geek.
- Your child is actually able to discuss the science behind Doctor Who or Star Trek, and in explicit detail.
There's some truth in most science fiction, and your child knows all of the theories behind the fandoms. They've spent countless hours on Google researching how black holes work or what would happen if a person did indeed find themselves exposed to gamma rays. If your child can argue about the space-time continuum or discuss particle physics with the best of them, you know you're raising a geek.
If you found yourself nodding along, congratulations! You're raising a geek! Unlike the days of old, being a geek is now the cool thing - a thing to celebrate. Forget worrying about your little nerd getting stuffed in lockers and start telling him or her that they're going to rule the world. Society has finally come to acknowledge that, in a world of technology, the Geeks in school become the Bosses in life - and now, it's cool to be a Geek. Teach your kid to own it - and join in! There's nothing more fun than raising a geek kid... hell, it gives you an excuse to put on that old Halloween costume and pick up a light saber! After all, you're just being a good parent, right?
And yes, you can now officially put that Ministry of Magic sticker on the toilet. It's for your kid, after all.
Enjoy! And don't forget, send us your pictures, stories, and tips about Raising your Kid Geek - you might be featured in the next installment!