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By Ryan Peterson

This topic may completely exclude some readers who don’t have children, and for that I’m sorry. However, you may still have some involvement through brothers, sisters or friends’ children who are usually just a phone call away. Curious? Read on!

Something I’ve been debating for years now, having two children of my own and making my living in the IT realm, is just how much exposure I should give my children to all things IT.

I’ve informally asked other parents in the developers’ world and responses have ranged from, “My kids will NEVER touch a computer for work, unless they're willing to teach themselves,” to, “I MAKE my kids complete some kind of challenges/learning in the realm of computer/programming literacy.”

I like to think I strike a happy medium of sorts: I never force my children to be involved. However, I make available and try to suggest interesting projects to participate in and topics to read about. Whether it’s programming or just general nerdery, I do what I can to make my kids think and to form thoughts and opinions of their own.

Lately at Isos, we’ve un-officially started gathering a few middle-to-high school aged kids to participate in all things computer and nerdy (so far consisting of the offspring of employees and friends). Some future plans include programming challenges and exposure to MakerBot design and implementation.

I’d be interested to hear other people’s experiences in introducing and reinforcing their own children's exposure to the IT realm, and critical thinking in general. Feel free to leave comments. It would be great to hear about any suggestions or experiences you have found particularly enriching and interesting!


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