Promoting Professional Geekery #39: Help Out Parents

(For more Promoting Professional Geekery, see this Roundup of past columns.)

If you’re the parent of a future progeek, or a progeek with kids, you know the kind of concerns you have. That concern for your child’s future, that concern about how to shape their lives, or the concern you have no idea what the hell your kids are talking about.

It’s hard enough being a parent in changing times, but support for progeeky parents and parents of progeeks isn’t exactly forthcoming. Trust me, I’ve seen it.

So if you want to help out professional geeks – help out the parents of the next generation guide their children or at least understand what’s going on.

What you can do depends on your skills, knowledge, and what you’re willing to provide:

  • If you’re culturally knowledgeable, you can explain things to parents – the significance of anime, terms, etc.
  • If you’re in a profession or know about one, you can explain it to parents and give them an idea of their offspring’s future.
  • If you’ve got a good understanding about the economy, employment trends, etc. you can impart wisdom to concerned parents, allay their fears, or reinforce them (which, sometimes, you have to do).

Want to find the best way to help – ask what you can provide the parents don’t have (or know they have). Then provide it. Even comforting words make a difference.

The next question is how you provide it. That also depends on your inclinations – and what you’re able to provide:

  • Conventions are excellent opportunities to reach parents who are in attendance, or in attendance with their children.
  • Blogs and sites are useful to reach parents. Just remember you want to do stuff that’ll help you reach people. Consider anything you post you a personal/geek blog could be something to do at a parenting site.
  • One-on-ones. If you know geek parents/parents of geeks you can help out personally.

When helping out parents, you have to also gauge your level of commitment. How much can you say and how long will it take to say it? You could find yourself involved in a deep project . . .

. . . which may be what you wanted. Parenting is certainly a deep project as it is.

Steven Savage