Parenting Tips From IT Pros

Make sure you're raising Junior the IT way.
6 Things Not To Do With iPhone 6
6 Things Not To Do With iPhone 6
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

They administer global enterprise networks, easily discuss cutting-edge tech like big data and Internet of Things, and patiently troubleshoot mind-numbingly complex coding errors.

But IT professionals have home lives too: they have husbands, wives, and partners. And some are parents, just like you and me, right? Wrong.

IT professionals know things about parenting that others can only dream about. So unless you're too tired from being up with a feverish 4-year-old two nights in a row or pounding on the kitchen table about a teenager's never-started-but-due-today history report, check out these tips.

DO: Bring a smartphone into the delivery room.
DON'T: Give into the impulse to check work email, not even during those frequent downtimes between contractions.

DO: Set up a webcam in the baby's room.
DON'T: Broadcast the Baby Room Cam (BRC) outside the LAN (without updated firmware and a properly configured firewall) because, breastfeeding.

[Check your wardrobe: IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins.]

DO: Immediately introduce your infant to tablet computing. Flipboard is a great choice.
DON'T: Worry about buying her a smartphone before she's 18 months old. (She can always Skype or Google Hangout on the BRC.)

DO: Encourage healthy debates between twins by buying one an Android and one an iPhone.
DON'T: Punish children by taking away phones/PCs/tablets/or server passwords. That's cruel (and they'll hack the server anyhow). For big discipline problems, consider installing Windows Vista.

DO: Photograph entrees while eating out. These will become precious family snapshots (or videos, if you all wear helmets and GoPros).
DON'T: Photograph the lunch you just enjoyed with the kids at McDonald's because you promised your partner (twice) at breakfast you'd take them to the organic farmers market.

DO: Teach your kids how to swim.
DON'T: Bring anything with a screen or an on/off switch to the pool, not even in that expensive, "waterproof" case that got 300 positive Amazon reviews.

DO: Teach them how to reformat a hard drive and reinstall an operating system.
DON'T: Ever let them practice this without adult supervision. "You have an awesome responsibility and a great power now. You're like Batman."

DO: Take them to your place of work for Take Your Child to Work Day.
DON'T: Forget to remind them about the Batman thing.


DO: Send them to young programmer summer camp.
DON'T: Let them catch you reading the lesson handouts, scratching your head, and cursing.

DO: Buy twice as many USB charging dongles as you think you're going to need for the rest of your life.
DON'T: Arrive at Disneyland and realize you forgot to pack a cord with a Lightning connector. Thanks, Apple.

DO: Pick sleepaway camps near beautiful lakes, rivers, and forests.
DON'T: Pick camps with those ludicrous "no technology" policies. Your children will hate you for it, forever -- as they should -- and they'll stick you in a bad retirement home the first chance they get.

DO: Teach children to use the Internet and social media safely and responsibly.
DON'T: Tell them where you met your husband/wife/partner or the screen name you used on that dating site. (It's also probably time to close that account. You're a parent now.)

The Internet of Things demands reliable connectivity, but standards remain up in the air. Here's how to kick your IoT strategy into high gear. Get the new IoT Goes Mobile issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing