This article isn’t trying to encourage Tiger parenting. Coding can be important for a child, but so can swimming lessons, math lessons and critical thinking exercises. There is a lot of misunderstanding about coding. People seem to confuse the mindset of a coder with that of an accountant, possibly because our public perception of both are pretty similar. Yet, if your mind is built for the world or programming, then it is actually fun. It is challenging, frustrating, and even addictive. However, you cannot Tiger parent your kid into liking coding. Open the door to the world of coding, but don’t try to push them through or you will sour them on programming forever.
Careful Introductions As Children Help Build Great Teen Coders
Some kids love coding, and some don’t. If we are honest, it is a pretty big ask for a child to sit still for hours and work on a computer. It isn’t as energetic or as fun as racing basketballs down the stairs.
If you create a good impression, a free and easy-going impression on kid when they are children, then they are more likely to pick it up and run with it in their teens. Kids are not always happy to sit for hours working on coding problems. They are far more amenable to sitting for hours when they are teens. When you re-introduce kids to coding as a teen, they get an almost nostalgic kick out of the process, and their vague understanding of how coding works helps to give them a leg up on those who are starting with no grounded understanding at all.
You Are Opening Up Another Facet of Life
Your life changes when you discover and learn new things. Life changes when you learn how to swim, how to drive, or even when you learn how to use a Smartphone. A new facet of life opens up and it almost like you have more freedom. You have the ability to get more out of life.
Believe it or not, coding is another facet of life that you can open up for kids. When they become adults, they are able to control technology on a deeper level. This is not something somebody should take lightly because these things affect more and more of our lives as we grow older. Even the simple things, like creating your WordPress website and not having to call an engineer every time you want a plugin tweaked. Being able to understand how the ransomware locked your phone and then finding a back entrance to fix it. Being able to code changes how you live your life just like being able to swim changes how you live your life.
It Helps to Hone Certain Thinking Skills
A lot of websites promotion coding for kids with the notion that it improves math skills, problem solving skills and so forth, but this is not strictly true. It actually hones the parts of your mind that are used for math skills and problem solving. The truth is that somebody who is terrible at math can become a coder. Life is a little more difficult, but not enough to stop somebody being a great coder. What’s more, that person may have a 20 year career in coding and still be bad at math. However, the parts of his or her mind that is used the certain types of math will always be as sharp as a razor.
The same is true of problem solving skills. You can have an amazing coder who solves problems that would make AI bots cry, but still can’t figure out the push and pull doors at the bank. Coding makes people better prepared for things like problem solving, time management, logic, math, etc., But, that doesn’t automatically make them great at using them. Rather than thinking of it in definite terms, i.e. the kid who codes will be better at math. Think of it in terms of, the kid who codes has better “Math thinking skills.”