As a hobbyist Web Developer/Blogger, the biggest question I have had over the years has been, “What type of website should I build?”. Until tonight, this question has went unanswered.
Of all people that could have answered this question, my 6 year old daughter was the only one brave enough to divulge in this topic with me. Now as a proud parent, no one person’s opinion matters more to me than that of my offspring. I’ll get to her answer shortly, but I think the story on how all of this came about is pretty interesting.
To get us started, I am obviously into technology… heavily. I work on computers for a living, then come home and work on them for fun. That said, I do encourage my 2 children to learn more about them. By no means do I force them to do so, nor will I push them to work in this industry. But I do believe that by the time that they are old enough to work, computers will play a much larger role in their lives than they do, ours, currently. I simply want them to have a basic understanding of how they work.
When my oldest daughter turned four (she is now the six year old in question) I built her, her first computer. I obviously locked it down to a few educational websites and installed some games for her to play. Not long after that, she was sneaking off with my iPad, cell phone, or my wife’s cell phone to play games, bid on eBay auctions and watch YouTube/NetFlix videos.
She never won any bids and I quickly uninstalled all shopping apps for my wallets safety. We are talking about an intelligent 4 year old with a shopping addiction. It was to the point where she was telling me and Rachael (my wife) about “coupons” (they were ads) on the sites I allowed her access to.
Now all of that brings us to the dinner table tonight; Rachael, our youngest daughter (Kayla), my mischievous 6 year old (Jordin) and myself. Out of nowhere, Jordin decides to ask us if we can play a YouTube video for her. She then proceeded to give the most confusing description of the video she wishes to watch (we have yet to decipher her coded request). But during her description, she said verbatim “It even has it’s own app in the app store”.
I believe this is where my wife realized that building our kids computers at such a young age was probably not the best idea.
In a poor attempt to change the subject before my wife decides to ban electronics in our home, I ask a dumb ass question… “How is it that you (Rachael) can ask a question on Facebook about cell phone providers and get 30+ responses, yet I ask a question and I’m pretty sure I was un-friended by a few folks?”.
My wife still trying to understand the sudden topic change replied with “What question are you talking about?”
After a brief pause (knowing my wife could care less about my web development hobby) I said, “When I asked, what type of website I should build.”
Before my wife could conjure up a smartassed, ” ’cause nobody cares” (… she was obviously thinking it ) reply; Jordin shouted, “I know what kind of website you should build, Daddy”!
“You should build a website for kids”
Ahh… the moment when you realize that your kids actually do love you. Kayla, sitting across the table, was completely in sync with Jordin’s new idea. Who am I to say no? I get to work with the two best partners in the world, my children!
Obviously there are some things I need to figure out how to explain (i.e. – copyright laws) as both of them want the website to be plastered with famous cartoon characters.
Of course this will be an extended project, but I will keep you updated here about what all is going on with it. So be on the lookout, and if you have any questions, comments and/or suggestions… hit me up in the comments below!