When do I Introduce my Daughter to Code?

Introducing Girls to Code

As a VP at Hackbright Academy, (the leading coding school for women) people always ask, “What is the best age to introduce my daughter to code?”  My answer.… “As soon as possible!”  The same goes for all the STEM sciences (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math.)   It’s never to early to introduce a child to something new. The next question they ask is always– How?

Every child is different, but why not expose them to “all things science” early on in a fun way.  There are: science museums, science based board games and video games, science based TV shows, experiments you can watch on Youtube, great tutorials by Khan academy, coding camps for kids, and the list goes on.  The earlier any child is exposed to something new, the more it opens their eyes to possibility. It makes them curious about the world.  First hand exposure is always a great tool and it provides a safe environment for children to ask questions if they are a bit shy.Unknown

The other day I passed a dad and daughter on the street.  They were crouched down on the sidewalk looking at something. (I’d say the daughter was about 7 years old.) Once I got closer, I could see that they were inspecting an acorn.  A very large and lonely acorn that seemed out of place on such a busy city street.  Where did it come from? The dad was talking about what an acorn is, what it does, the shell, how it will spout, etc. He was also taking the time to answer all his daughter’s questions. It was a wonderful exchange and teachable moment that they were both clearly enjoying. He didn’t rush by the acorn on the sidewalk, he stopped and took notice of his daughter’s curiosity.  He used the opportunity to teach her about nature.  This type of time and patience helps ignite curiously in kids. So, introduce your child to code (or any science) when you are ready to dive in and be part of the conversation with them. If they see that you are engaged and curious then they will be too.

If you need help identifying some great resources for your child, just reach out! 

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How Can I Establish Phone Rules For a 14 Year Old?

This is a question that many parents can relate to. The phone, in some ways, has replaced the television of the 1970s. We’d dread when a parent would say the words, “That’s enough TV… shut it off and go outside!”

Today’s parents can think about their own teenage television habits and ask themselves: “What are the rules of TV watching in our house?” Use that as your reference point for how much you want your teenager to be on his or her phone.

Ideally, parents should establish the expectations regarding phone usage from the beginning. I cannot stress this enough. Otherwise, it ends up like a runaway train.

Questions to answer before handing over a phone: When can your adolescent use the device? All the time? Or perhaps you want to limit it to after homework is finished, a period before bedtime, or just weekends? Where is the phone stored? Who pays for the phone? Again, answer as many of these questions as you can in advance and make your expectations clear.

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