Raising Children “Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid’s Childhood…” by MaryBeth Hicks (May 2009)

Susan's Thursday note May 14, 2009 
Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World  by MaryBeth Hicks
(Geeks: Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids)
Good morning!!!!  After cursing the winds of Nebraska last night this morning is completely still and breathtaking.  The only disconcerting part of my morning is the mole (I’m going with that theory instead of the idea of mouse) that has made it under my refrigerator.  It was hard to leave the house knowing that was still untaken care of, but the sight of the placement of two cats in watch position gave me a little comfort.  The poor little guy under the fridge really doesn’t stand a chance.  I can hardly wait to find the “rest of the story” tonight.  Never a dull moment!
This week a book came in that I have already ordered a case of for you.  When I called the store on Tuesday Kim exclaimed, “Susan – someone ordered a book that I can’t put down – it is excellent!!! You have got to read it and get it for all of our parents!”  She doesn’t give many books such enthusiastic ratings, and she is the mother of four children ranging in all ages – I picked up the book yesterday & read into the night.  The title is Bringing Up Geeks (Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids): How to Protect Your Kid’s Childhood in a Grow-up-too-fast World by MaryBeth Hicks.  I don’t know what to take from the book for you, for every page was full of advice. 
Here are the topics MaryBeth covers:
    Rule #1: Raise a Brainiac
    Rule #2: Raise a Sheltered Kid
    Rule #3: Raise an Uncommon Kid
    Rule #4 Raise a Kid Adults Like
    Rule #5 Raise a Late Bloomer (she goes into those that enter puberty early – but then she
                        follows with how to still have them be “late bloomers” emotionally)
    Rule #6 Raise a Team Player
    Rule #7 Raise a True Friend (to their friends)
    Rule #8 Raise a Homebody
    Rule #9 Raise a Principled Kid
    Rule #10 Raise a Faithful Kid
    Conclusion: Happily Uncool Ever After
She goes into detail with ideas on: early puberty, late puberty, internet access & ideas for rules in your home, instant texting & ideas for rules in your home, dealing with what your kids see and hear in their friends’ homes, dealing with the “popular” children in your children’s lives – their power over how your child feels about him/herself if not raised as a “geek” (grin).  She discusses the need for us to parent, not just desire a close friendship with our children.  She goes into detail on how to get our children to read (even if it is not an ability of theirs) – and how to cut out the constant need for electronics.  She goes into the importance of “boredom” – letting them then think for themselves. 
Here is the writing from the back cover:  Rather than enjoying innocent childhoods while developing strong, authentic characters, today’s kids can become cynical – even jaded – as they absorb the dangerous messages and harmful influences of a dominant popular culture that encourages materialism, high-risk behaviors, and a state of pseudo-adulthood.  Marybeth Hicks suggests an alternative to the culture of cool: bringing up geeks.  She inspires parents themselves and their kids from cultural conditioning while instilling in their children truly important values. 
    *the enthusiasm to pursue his or her greatest passions, not just the latest fashions
    * the confidence to resist peer pressure and destructive behaviors in the quest to be accepted
    * the love of learning that helps him or her excel at school – and in life
    * the maturity to value family as well as friends, and make good moral decisions. 
“Every so often a book comes along that I tell my friends they absolutely must read – Read this book, declare your status as a “geek” mom or dad, and create a better life for your family.”  – Dr. Kimberly Thompson, Director of the Kids Risk Project, Harvard School of Public Health.
She also gives ideas under each rule above in each of these age groups:  Elementary, Middle School, High School.   She also discusses single-parent homes, special-needs families, and sibling influences. 
Have a great week – raise your little “geeks” (grin) and know that if they’re rolling their eyes at us we probably made the right decision!  Have a beautiful day – the birds are singing for you (they are so incredibly consistent loyal little friends, aren’t they?!?!?)  Thanks for letting me come into your Thursday again!  I hope you can come over soon!  Susan
Latin for this week:  
dulcis domus - Sweet home 

Works Cited:
Hicks, MaryBeth.  Bringing Up Geeks: Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids.  2008.  Penguin Group.  New York.