Parenting Hack – The Secret to Launching a Child to the Moon

As a parent – success manual or not – there’s a number of mental checkboxes that stalk our thinking patterns. One of these is the responsibility of setting our Mini Me’s up for the day they wave their wings bye-bye at the nest and set off into the Great Unknown. Though let’s face it, in these uncertain times with a shape-shifting job market, on bad hair-days us parents easily mistake this task for a burden to which there’s no easy solution.

Playing mom to a 10-year-old, I’ve a decade’s worth of ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ navel-gazing moments on my tally. Targeted parenting books have been skim-read, key podcasts downloaded and half-listened to, and many a social-setting convo had me ready to burn the flag of whatever oppression is holding our kids back from ‘making it’ once they start tackling life on their terms, sans parents to the rescue.

Along the way, I’ve compiled a mental list of must-have’s for that all-important rocket launch set to happen in about 8 years or so. A lot of these are factors also lives in ‘A letter to my younger self’, and have been learned the blood, sweat and tears way.

Enter the ninja, and one that simply didn’t exist in my reality when I was still running around with pigtails. One that, it just so happens, could very easily be hailed as one of the major factors that are transforming our world as we speak.

Growing up, most of us got the feeling that maths and science was a surefire way to success. That’s the impression teachers gave, anyway, with top maths and science students the assumed bestseller stories of tomorrow, and fledgeling students in these subjects tsk tsk’d and steered to pursue a career in office administration, instead. Since it was mostly nerds and goody-two-shoes who did well at these “important” school subjects, peer pressure dictated that we didn’t care too much, anyway – to be cool meant you had to get near-fails and say “Whatever” in just the right tone of voice.

Fast-forward to a world today’s under-18 generation call home and it’s a whole different story. STEM – Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering – is all the rage, and everyone’s queuing up to get in on the action and help students from zero to hero. Aptitude is no longer a requirement because, in a crazy-short timeframe, the world has become technologised, with digital the new offline.

As parents, we fussed over teaching our kids their ABCs, yet a single generation later, the alphabet is steadily making way for a new literacy: Coding.

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”

Steve Jobs

As parents, we get excited when our kids reach for a book because, up till now, society has equated reading with intellect. Consider, then, that coding is literacy on steroids, because coding doesn’t make you a mere reader, but a writer.

“Every programmer is an author.”

Sercan Leylek

The little tree I’m bending will have his own ‘Things I Wish I Knew Back Then’ cut out for him one day. But one thing he’ll never have to match is my Google search history.

If you’re in the Durban, South Africa area, we’ve teamed up with sponsor CompuKids to bring a CodeClub Meetup to kids around the city keen on going geek and learning awesome new tech skills…for free!

Join the Meetup and Facebook groups to get involved.

Featured image by Mateusz Wyszyński on Pixabay