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5 ways to help your child overcome coding phobia

By Dhrubaa Ghosh,

Some kids are scared of coding even before trying. Turn this fear into fun with these tips.

Writing code is about creating and making things come to life.

The stereotype of computer programmers as math nerds with thick glasses completing huge calculations mentally scares many people away from coding, adults and children alike. Enrolling them for coding competitions like HT Code-a-thon can be a great way of helping kids get rid of coding phobia. This coding Olympiad started from August 31 and HT has partnered with IBM for this initiative. “IBM’s collaboration with HT Code-a-thon has been a great success in helping students to unlock their creative potential by using tech. We are happy to take this initiative a step further by extending the HT Code-a-thon engagement to meritorious girls from grades 9 to 12 as part of the Vigyan Jyoti programme launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). These initiatives further strengthen our STEM for Girls Program aimed at inspiring the next generation of girls to embrace STEM,” said Manoj Balachandran, Head, CSR, IBM India and South Asia.  

As parents, there are some steps you can take to drive away this fear and open the magic world of coding to them. Here are our suggestions.  

Associate coding with a favourite activity 
Writing code is about creating and making things come to life — drawings, games, robots. If your child likes Lego blocks or History lessons or even playing football, explain coding in relation to that favourite activity. A programme is built in blocks, just like Lego. It requires memory and understanding, like History. And like football, coding is about tactics and strategic thinking.  

Encourage your child to try different types of coding 
Motivate children to try what seems interesting, rather than stick to one particular type of programming language. Animation, game development, storytelling, mobile apps, website building – many things can be done with programming – and every child will have a different take on it. In short, if your kid wants to concentrate on Java instead of Python, allow that.  

Motivate kids to join group coding projects 
Encourage your children to code with a team. Group coding projects such as code-a-thon and hackathons encourage teamwork and allow students to learn from one another. As they grow, this network of friends and mentors who are also interested in coding will help them start on bigger projects, and may help them in their career.  

Make coding fun  
Another way to get kids interested in programming is by playing various coding games. Minecraft is one of the most popular games that encourage children to explore the Minecraft world of coding. Apart from Minecraft, there are games like Roblox, Algo Run and Algorithm City. Playing them can deliver coding ‘lessons’ to kids in a way they would love and remember.  
 
Focus on real life applications 
Connect coding lessons to real life examples that surround us. All operating systems, email services, social media, apps, websites, and so much more runs on programming. The results of the virtual world of programming surround us in our real world.