We have all seen ads of 13-year old Gupta getting placed at Google for a 1.2 Crore salary package.
We have also seen news articles of kids developing apps and becoming entrepreneurs, with their parents boasting about how they let their child specialise in coding from a very young age.
It all sounds fancy but… at what cost?
The world keeps changing every minute. Innovation occurs in every nook of every sector. The heat of this is on the younger generation of today. This fad of turning kids into young entrepreneurs… Let’s just talk about some of the myths that need to be cleared before trying to make a coder of your child.
1. Isn’t Coding Equivalent to Understanding Technology?
Not really, no.
Coding is a part of the broader concept that technology is. When children begin by learning how to code, they tend to misunderstand this. Their perspective is thus, heavily narrowed. Instead of simply developing apps and softwares, they can start by looking at the bigger picture of technology; to aid research and improve the quality of life.
2. Coding Boosts Problem Solving and Logical Skills
For arriving at a solution, we all follow a certain standard approach.
Analyse -> Understand -> Think -> Act
The current learning model is also structured around this. Coding simply fast forwards this to the last stage of arriving at solutions, which is the “Act” stage. As an effect of this, your child’s creativity and free-thinking may be affected by their sole objective to arrive at the solution. This could be a unique way of learning, for all we know. Still, it misses out on the right attitude required to learn sustainably.
3. Coding Will Make My Child More Confident
Most job profiles require technical knowledge to some degree. Often, this is misunderstood as the candidate’s ability to code. As these lines get increasingly blurrier every day, firms and companies look for all-rounders that can specialise, rather than the other way round.
Confidence is built when one’s ideas are executed successfully. This could be from experimenting openly from their childhood and not just from coding. Validating then over the mere skill of coding is wrong and could affect their future.
4. It Is Easily Available, Then Why Not?
Today, It’s so easy to start a course on coding. A simple Google search followed by filling out a few forms can get you access to a comprehensive course on everything from the introduction to the most advanced concepts of coding.
Rather than getting your children to do something just because it’s easy, you have to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective. Is it really necessary? Putting them in this race could mean that they miss out on their true calling in the world.
“…But By Learning Coding, My Child is Going to Be Ahead of Times!”
This is the single biggest argument that most parents still have for thrusting their children into this rat race. In some aspects, yes. There are a lot of cons to this, though.
1. Knowledge vs Experience
Suppose you had to choose between a manager with 30 years of experience and a fresher with the fanciest degrees. Who would you choose?
Today’s online learning platforms have made it so easy to get yourselves a long list of degrees and so, starting early is quite a blessing for those looking to get degrees ranging over the entire set of alphabets.
Being knowledgable is not a challenge anymore but in this chase, they sacrifice valuable experiences that they could have curated doing something else. Experience teaches them that the motives behind doing something are as important as the processes themselves. Knowledge follows this.
Did You Know?
Roger Federer: This internationally acknowledged and celebrated player had no first love for lawn tennis. He tried his hand over soccer, handball, volleyball, and other games to gain experience and then chose what the best fit was for him!
2. Is Super Specializing in Coding the Only Future?
There are only two industries that call their customers as users; the drug industry and the IT sector. The reason for this is the addiction that this creates in their customers. Your child can become a rat in this race to develop the world’s next addiction.
So no, coding is not the only future. Just like bell bottoms were a fad in the 60s, this too shall pass.
3. What About the Adaptability?
Specialising in a certain field makes the child exceptionally good at it but it also narrows their outlook. This makes them helpless when they face real-world problems that are out of their domain.
Children who are brought up with equal emphasis on all subjects and the arts have a holistic approach and so, when they face problems, they tend to be calm and composed. They are more adaptable to harsher situations and tend to come out stronger.
4. Innovation is the Goal!
Today’s generation should understand that coding apps should not simply be the means to an end. Innovation is the goal and the possibilities for this lie in every field out there.
Fostering an environment that promotes and encourages them to experiment and find their calling for themselves is the best thing that we can do as parents. Creating experiences accelerates this process and increases their adaptability.
So, do you still want to get them into the rat race?