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Study: Kids learn how to use the Web before they than can tie their shoes

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Though I’m fairly sure I learned to play Super Mario Bros. before I learned to ride a bike without training wheels, it appears my childhood was ahead of the curve. According to a study by AVG, young children are more adept at technology than some basic life skills. In a poll of 2,200 mothers with Internet access and children between 2 and 5 years old, more children knew how to play video games (58 percent) than knew how to ride a bike (43 percent). If riding a bike seems too hard, how about this: more kids know how to play with a smartphone app (19 percent) than tie their own shoelaces (9 percent) or make breakfast.

The study showed that more young children can open a Web browser (25 percent) than swim unaided (20 percent). There is no gender divide either: boys and girls ranked equally in their skills at playing computer games (58 percent boys, 59 percent girls) and making mobile phone calls (28 percent boys, 29 percent girls). The only divide came when comparing U.S. children to other countries. For example, 67 percent of U.S. kids age 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, while more than 78 percent of young French children are capable of the same act. The same goes when comparing other activities like mobile phone calling and playing video games. Some countries have the U.S. handily beat, though no complete statistics were shared.

It seems younger mothers may be putting a greater focus on technology. The study shows that children with mothers age 35 or older tend to be better at most life skills like writing their own name. Young ones with mothers 34 or under tend to rank higher in tech skills.

This study is a part of AVG’s efforts to show how important early tech education is for children. In October, the company released its first batch of information, showing that many babies have online Facebook and other profiles by the time they are six months old.

If these findings are true, I blame the robots. To our readers who have kids: did your children learn tech skills faster than some important life skills? Do you put a bigger emphasis on learning technology?