As a single-mother of a ten-year- old boy, I am constantly wondering if my son is eating the right food, sleeping enough, getting the proper amount of exercise, is being exposed to new experiences, and is being taught the right values. It is important to me to encourage my son’s interests and help him develop important life skills. I want him to be happy, healthy and know every day how much I love him! I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be overwhelming! Despite this, as a mom and a woman who runs a company in the tech industry I am here to put one more thing on this list — teaching your children to learn to code.

Learning to code, regardless of the path your child ultimately chooses to take, is critical today. We know from both our own and current research, how important coding is going to be to everyone moving forward. In five years, almost every job will require some sort of coding knowledge. Coding literacy will be as important in the 21 century as literacy was in the 20th century.

There are many misconceptions about coding. It is not merely a technical skill, it is so much more. Coding promotes creativity, critical thinking, more proficient reading and writing skills, problem solving, and helps children work in teams and they learn how to give and receive feedback. Through coding education, children are taught to challenge the status quo and build confidence. Coding is also really fun!

With just a little bit of your own research, you can find that almost everything in the world around us involves coding. There are plenty of examples to demonstrate to your children how coding impacts everything from farming, art, movies, sports, computer games and the search engine they depend on for everything! Finding something your children have an interest in will make learning to code more interesting and relevant to them.

Your child’s coding experiences should go way beyond just simply sitting in front of a computer. Make it fun! There are a variety of products and services available at a wide range of price points and for any age and skill level to aid in your child’s coding education. Coding products and services include building blocks, toys, board games, computer games, robots, after-school programs and even summer camps with a coding education focus. Talk to your children and see what interests them!

Something I want to share with parents, specifically about learning to code, is that it can be incredibly collaborative. Although it may give you initial pause if you do not consider yourself technically savvy, nothing is further from the truth. Coding is an activity that is easy and entertaining that you can share with your children – you might even learn a new skill yourself!

As parents, we have many jobs in the lives of our children and one of them is to encourage them to learn new things, such as coding. Giving children opportunities to explore coding concepts through a variety of avenues and develop a passion is invaluable. Learning through play and “by doing” is critical, entertaining AND educational.  As an innovator in the tech space and a mother, I want to enable a new generation to feel empowered by technology and feel comfortable being proactive with it, rather than being beholden to it and consuming it passively. Learning to code is critically important in this process. Coding, to me, is one of the most important skills to help children shape the technology around them.