We all like to indulge our geeky sides every now and then. When people think of geeks and fandom they tend to think of sweaty, bearded white dudes glued to their TVs in shabbily furnished studio flats or their parents’ basements. But all of us, even modern mummies can find ourselves indulging our fangirl side every once in a while. And what could be more magical than enjoying the things you love all over again with your kids? Introducing your kids to your own fandom can be a wonderful way to make even familiar experiences feel fresh and new as you relive them for the first time vicariously through their eyes.
However, it’s important to do this in the right ways. Kids can go overboard in their fandom and it’s important to make sure that they have the right experience and cultivate their fandom in healthy ways. Of course, nobody knows your children better than you, so this isn’t a hard and fast guide, but here are some ways in which mums can share their fandom with their children…
Approach it by putting their experience first
It’s important to remember that just because you love something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should introduce your kids to it in the same way that you were exposed to it. Your children have perspectives and personalities of their own and they also occupy a different historical and cultural context.
Think about putting their experience first. Create something magical that piques their interest in characters and universes you love. Check out Sam’s Club Tickets Disneyland if you want your kids to share your love of Disney, its numerous unforgettable princesses, Star Wars or the Marvel Universe. Or if your heart belongs in Hogwarts, you’ll find that a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour can help to develop a lifelong love of Harry Potter.
Re-watch everything before you introduce your child to it
Sometimes our memories gloss over aspects of our favourite films and TV shows which might prove troublesome for our little ones. Remember your child is a very different person to you at their age. While you might remember The Dark Crystal as a fun family friendly adventure, it might give your child nightmares for weeks. Likewise, you may be surprised just how many decidedly un-PC overtones might be hiding in some of your favourite content.
That’s not to say that kids should never be scared or never be exposed to blue humour. But it’s work making sure everything is appropriate not just for their age group but for them.
Don’t force it
You have to be prepared to face the possibility that your child might not love the things you love. That they might sit through a beloved childhood classic and remark “meh, it’s old”. They may even start fidgeting with a phone or device while you’re watching.
Resist the urge to force them to watch it A Clockwork Orange-style. If the material doesn’t resonate with them, the sad truth is that nothing you do will change their mind.
Make sure that even if they love the material you expose them to, it’s just one part of a balanced cultural diet and part of a wide range of activities. This can help to prevent fandom from becoming an obsession.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.