This article offers fair but impartial advice on how to get your kids excited about coding, but it is very important that you follow the guidelines to the letter. It is very important that you do not let your attitude or your enthusiasm affect your child because you may scare your child away from coding forever.
Start Simple With Simple Programming Concepts
Your child may already understand the mechanics of programs and the concepts behind them, but you should still explain them to your kids again in a way that makes it very clear. Don’t forget that this is still new to your kids, and you need to get the foundation stuff correct before you continue.
Added to which, do search out concept explanations and websites that offer coding for kids. There are some lousy ones out there, but some have really put effort into creating courses and games that kids can understand.
Try Not to Take the Lead
Think of it as a learning experience that you both do together. It is tough to judge, but if you take the lead too much, then your child may look to you for all the answers. On the other hand, if you let your kid take the lead too much, then he or she may become bored and/or confused.
Never Push Your Kids into Coding
This is the most important point in this article, so listen up! It is very important that you allow your child to pull away from coding and even quit coding if your child wants to. It is vitally important that you apply no pressure at all.
The fact is that many children are unwilling to sit in front of a computer for hours and concentrate on a subject like coding. If your child doesn’t enjoy the process, or feels it is happening too often, then your child must be able to freely quit without consequence. If you apply any pressure at all, then you will put your child off of coding for life.
However, when your child is older and in his or her teens, then he or she will be quite happy to sit at a computer for many hours, working on something like coding. And, since your teen was exposed to it at an early age and has no negative memories from it, then coding becomes an easier subject to re-engage with.
On the other hand, if your child has a negative experience with coding, then convincing your child to take it up as a teen will be very difficult.
Getting Kids Excited is a Personalized Endeavor
You know best what makes your child excited, and perhaps your biggest problem is the management of expectations. Coding is not a thrill-a-minute activity, so getting your child too hyped may lead to a massive disappointment.
Perhaps the best approach is to assume your child doesn’t know how labor intensive, how boring, or how exciting coding actually is. Perhaps your best bet is to manage your child’s experience as it happens. Don’t over promise, but don’t act like you are trying to jazz up a house chore.
Also, as a final point, be very careful how you link the activity to possibly more attractive propositions. For example, a common mistake is to tell kids that learning how to code will help them build mods for their favorite games.
Even if their favorite games do have a big modding community, your child is going to want to skip straight to the good stuff and may be disappointed to learn that most of the early stages of coding includes math puzzles, logic puzzles and language learning.
Try to sell the idea of coding as a way of learning something new, rather than a way to alter their games or master their computer. Those thoughts are for later down the line when your child is a confident coder.