25 Things Modern Parents Have to Know How to Do

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Being a parent these days, especially a geeky one, requires a somewhat different skill set than it did in our parents’ day. There are technical skills we have to know and be able to pass along that we never picked up from our parents; we just learned them along the way. Plus, of course, there are the fundamentals of geek culture that we must transfer to the next generation. So here’s a list of 25 such skills and cultural touchstones that are unique to parenthood in the 21st century. If you have any more ideas, please leave them in the comments!

  1. We have to know how to setup secure home wifi (with/without filtering)
  2. We carry an extra pair of earbuds, extra charger on extended trips
  3. We teach our kids to take advantage of free hand sanitizer at cons
  4. We don’t make them costumes, we make them cosplay
  5. We have to figure out what the right age is to start fragging them in games
  6. We have to teach them about “Classic” Who
  7. We have to teach them that Spot Hidden is the single most important skill in any RPG
  8. We have to be able to set up shared family shopping lists on any mobile device.
  9. We have to be able to decipher family phone plans.
  10. We have to decide at what age they should get their first phone, and whether it should be a smartphone
  11. We have to be able to teach them smartphone etiquette
  12. We have to be able to explain the pitfalls of social media to them in a way they’ll understand and take to heart
  13. We have to make sure everyone’s data is backed up
  14. We’ve got to know how to recover it when it’s not
  15. We have to make sure our kids don’t get too much screen time
  16. But we have a long list of TV shows, movies, and video games we want to share with them
  17. We have to show them how to spot good crowdfunding campaigns, and to avoid the ones that’ll never pan out
  18. We bring our kids back toys from our trips, we bring them collectables!
  19. We have to decide when it’s okay for them to drink coffee (which is so ubiquitous now)
  20. We have to choose the right gateway to the Star Wars universe, and the right age so that the perfection of Empire isn’t spoiled. 🙂
  21. We have to balance the desire to share all the awesomely geeky stuff we love with the need to let them also discover their own favorite things
  22. We teach our children to always know where their towel is
  23. We teach our children that the answer is “42”… but we’re still working on the question
  24. We have to know not just how play Minecraft, but to run the server
  25. We must teach them that outrageous claims must first pass the Snopes test

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