Is pop-culture fandom a product of nature or nurture? Were any of us initially wired to love what we love? We may not remember all the details of when we watched our first Super Friends cartoon or college basketball game, but the great likelihood is that we didn’t turn on the TV or walk into the arena by ourselves.
Our parents found ways to introduce us to characters and musicians and sports stars. Once something started to take hold with us, they supported our interests with birthday and holiday gifts, with school supplies and T-shirts and bedding. They may not have been fans themselves, but our parents enabled us when we were in that sweet spot of childhood.
Geek parent tip: Meet your kids where they are
- Stories at bedtime are great opportunities to share storybook versions of pop-culture properties you love. Picture books with kid-friendly takes are growing in number all the time (even for grown-up movies such as Alien).
- Many kids watch as much YouTube as anything else, and they are masters of scouring the site for clips. Surf with them and click on some of your own favourite pop-culture moments to share.
- Nothing beats a regular family movie night for introducing a favourite to the kids. Your pick might catch fire with them, or they may glance more at their phone than the screen—and that’s okay. Keeping the mood casual and fun makes things more inviting for them.
- Kids’ favourite characters and story lines may come from games. Interactive story lines, virtual reality and online gaming seem to come instinctually for even the youngest younglings. When they ask to borrow your phone for the millionth time, get them to show you how to play their favourites—and the best YouTube tutorials.