What are the Geek Kid developmental milestones?

Child development and parenting books lay out a series of developmental milestones that children are supposed to achieve, with sample timetables. I don’t know if these do more harm than good, since kids are kids and not machines. They all do things a little differently, and some kids whose bodies or minds work in their own unique way have their own path. And more power to them!

I also feel like the child development literature does an insufficient job listing some of the developmental milestones that are extremely important, we believe, to our son’s future happiness. Specifically in our case, the Geek Kid milestones. As geeky people ourselves, we muddled through these things when we were growing up, but are we doing the best job we can raising our Geek Kid?

Here are a few of the milestones for which we received insufficient guidance from established parenting experts.

First pair of dice

Sure, parenting books tell you not to give your child anything small to play with until they are no longer trying to eat their toys. Is this really sufficient guidance? Are there specific colors or shapes that are best for growing minds? Is one pair of dice even right, or should there be a larger set?

Their own library card

Our son finally got his own library card right before his six year old birthday. It had never occurred to us that he could get one at such a young age, and we would not have known without his new teacher telling us it was possible. Have we set his development back years by this delay? Also, why did no one tell us earlier that youth cards in the Austin Public Library system also have an allowance of 50 books checked out at a time, so getting him one increases our household’s total allowance to 150 books?

Mastering Yoda-speak

I had no idea what age practice of this important geek skill was supposed to begin, and how to properly nurture its development. However we were lucky enough to find a primer, Star Wars Adventures: Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes, that seemed to work reasonably well. But what about geek parents who don’t have ready access to such educational materials?

Ability to separate superheroes into DC, Marvel, or “other”

Sorting objects into groups is well understood as an activity that helps children’s minds develop. Sorting superheroes, though, is a more intellectual activity unless you’re lucky enough to own a large quantity of action figures whose trademarked likenesses are owned by a variety of entertainment megacorporations. And without mastering this ability, how are geek kids supposed to understand the legal ramifications of their proposed superhero team-ups? For example, my son’s recommended Ramona Flowers + Black Panther is going to be FAR easier to make happen than his Batman, Superman, and Iron Man team.

You see what I’m saying, right? For all we know, we’ve already missed some key milestones and we’ll have to play catch-up when our shocking parenting lapses come to light!

9 thoughts on “What are the Geek Kid developmental milestones?

  1. TokenOmnivore

    I think as long as he’s not walking past a bookstore because he’s afraid to go in, you’re doing just fine.

    But I do remember the afternoon my brother taught me how to sign my name in cursive, so I could get a library card. Probably pretty close to when I could print it. Good times.

  2. decoybetty

    All I can say is at least you’ve got some milestones beaten for sure. My husband is getting his PhD attends meteorology and computer conferences and yet had not seen star wars until he met me 4 years ago.

    What were his parents thinking?

  3. Melissa @ Home on Deranged

    OMG I love this frikkin’ post! You are an awesome mom! The fact that you are allowing Geek Kid to follow his own road is a testament to what a great person you are, much less a parent. I get so excited knowing that there are still parents who mold their child based on the person he/she is, not the person that they want them to be! Yay!

  4. Christine Young

    Parenting books and “experts” put way too much pressure on parents AND kids. It’s just not fair! I love meeting other parents who have decided to let their children develop when THEY are ready without being pushy and over bearing. :) Way to go, mama!!

  5. John Speasmaker

    You are an awesome mom. It is a rare kid that has a mom who “gets it.” There is a great book by Jonathan Mooney called Learning Outside the Lines. He talks about how how his mom’s tireless efforts and patient understanding was what made the difference for him. Jonathan was and remains dyslexic – painfully so – and yet he was able to, with his mom cheering him on all the way, finish high school and then graduate from an Ivy League collage. Hurrah for engaged parents.

  6. Nicole B.

    Ha! This is too funny. We have those cookie cutters too. Recently I was very smug when I found out that we had hit the library book checkout limit of 50. I declared that a parenting win :)

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