Mark Zuckerberg’s wife says Facebook founder has been teaching daughter to code since she was three

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Mark Zuckerberg is teaching daughters how to code (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)
Mark Zuckerberg is teaching daughters how to code (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)

Mark Zuckerberg’s nighttime routine with his daughters includes teaching them how to code.

Priscilla Chan, who shares daughters Maxima, five, and August, four, with Zuckerberg, discussed her husband’s dedication to teaching their children how to code during an interview with The Times.

According to Chan, who met the Facebook founder while they were students at Harvard University, she and Zuckerberg divide parenting duties, with her husband in charge of putting their children to bed.

“Sometimes they will read books together. Sometimes they’ll code together,” she explained, adding that there are numerous effective ways to teach children to code as it’s “very visual”.

She continued: “Mark has been doing that with August since she turned three.”

Chan, who notes that she is Chinese by heritage, and who speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, also revealed that Zuckerberg’s bedtime routine includes reciting a prayer in Mandarin, but that she and her husband haven’t been “terribly successful” raising their daughters to be bilingual.

“You know, we tried and we’ve haven’t been terribly successful but we do spend time making sure that they’re … multicultural,” she said of their daughters, who they are raising as Jewish.

This is not the first time that the couple has opened up about teaching their daughters to code, as Zuckerberg previously shared a photo to Facebook of August learning to code on a MacBook in June.

At the time, the father-of-two said coding software Kano is “pretty awesome for teaching kids to code”.

However, Zuckerberg did note that it isn’t always easy teaching a child programming, as he explained in the comments under the post that “teaching a kid to type is one of the greatest tests of patience I have ever experienced”.

“August types at literally 1-2wpm [words per minute],” he continued. “And when she gets a few letters into a word and then makes a mistake and accidentally presses delete three times instead of once and then has to retype the whole word, I feel like I’m just going to lose it.”

Zuckerberg himself learned to code when he was in sixth grade, with the Facebook founder previously revealing that C++ For Dummies was his first formal introduction to coding.

As for whether the couple will allow their daughters to use the social media platforms owned by Zuckerberg, Chan told the outlet that their children will be allowed when they are 13 because “that’s the rule” - despite the recent research linking Instagram to body image issues among teenage girls.

According to Chan, the “important thing” is talking to one’s children about these issues, with the 36-year-old adding: “Social media is an online community but children engage in a lot of communities which they - we - don’t fully control, and there are a lot of variables that go into keeping them happy, healthy, safe.”

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