The Challenge and Opportunity of Raising Geeky Kids
Kids today have a lot of exposure to technology from their early stages in life. In fact, there is a promising market for software vendors centred on kids—even toddlers. These children are sometimes even referred to as the YouTube generation, with surveys showing how comfortable kids younger than two are with touch-screen devices.
In this user base, obviously some kids are “geekier” than others. I’m not talking about your programming prodigies—I simply mean the ones who are more technology-inclined than the rest.
This is the first time in history young people have had such great technology so readily available to them, and parents face a new opportunity as well as a challenge in how to raise their geeky kids. How can these caregivers maximize the circumstances and mitigate the challenges of raising a child whose quest for technology is higher that most?
Firstly, ample resources are available that cater to the “geeky kids” market—shopping sites with clever and educational toys, apps that will stimulate their learning and creativity, projects to keep them engaged, and books that geeky parents will enjoy, too. Parents have avenues to not just identify their kids’ acumen, but also share their knowledge and interest with the community at large.
GeekWire also had a special feature on geeky kids; broadcasts like this create a lot of positivity for children, whether it is in sharing knowledge and getting insight from such kids, for parents to channel their kids’ energy in the right forums, or for the community at large to understand trends popular with the youngest generations. There also are articles to encourage parents on how to raise such geeky kids, with advice including mentoring them, not dismissing their outside-the-box interests, talking to their teachers to see if any special programs may be available for them, and empowering them with needed resources.
The good thing is that we are more tech-savvy these days to support our kids in their journey compared to our parents when we were growing up. In fact, we’re in an interesting position between our parents and our kids where we could try some creative techniques such as having our children work with our parents to bridge the generation gap through technology.
The coming generations are certainly going to see more of this “raising geeky kids,” but as the first to face this opportunity with abundant technology at our disposal to stimulate them, we have an important responsibility to leave a positive legacy behind.