If your parents are anything like mine, their technology use is low and they don’t have a strong interest in learning more. We’re just from completely different generations and while I’ve grown up with smartphones and the Internet, they’re quite happy relying on phones for phone calls and text messages. There are tons of benefits to getting your parents to use more technology – it can empower them, even open up employment opportunities as they age, as well as providing extra avenues of entertainment. If you live overseas as I do, having your parents be tech savvy can also make it easier for you to maintain your relationship with them while far away. Teaching your parents how to use technology can be both frustrating and overwhelming, but here are some tips to help make it easier for everyone involved.
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1. Stay Patient
It can be very challenging explaining technology based things to people who aren’t up to speed. Just know that going into things! It is also more complicated because they’re your parents, so they’re used to being the ones to teach you things and some people don’t handle the change of dynamic very well. Take breaks as needed, and don’t try to teach them too much at once. Smaller, bite sized pieces of information will make it less stressful for everyone involved. Make sure you’re also doing your best before you get started – have a snack, make sure you’ve slept well etc, so that you can reduce the chances of having a fight because trust me that can happen too easily! While your parents will be grateful for you helping them to learn more, it can be tough on their egos too so be patient.
2. Write Down Important Information
There’s a good chance that your parents are going to forget almost everything you tell them and you might have to repeat yourself a few times to make it ‘stick.’ For that reason I suggest having a notebook handy, and writing down any important pieces of information that you’d like them to be able to remember. Better yet, if your parents are receptive, have them write it down themselves as it’s more likely to commit to their memory if they write it. If you can even make a quick summary they can look at, all the better! You want to make things as easy as possible for them to duplicate without you there.
3. Explain the Benefits
Letting them know the benefits of enjoying technology and social media can help make it more tangible for them. Perhaps you’re wanting to get them used to using Alexa, because there are so many great features that can enrich their lives, such as the ability to control your smart switches around your home, or the song recall feature where you can ask Alexa to play a song or specific genre of music. Letting them know first how the new technology will enrich their lives can help pique their interest in getting over the learning curve to use it. This website has a range of great crossbow gift ideas, you might want to take a look at it.
Helping your parents learn new tech can be an intense and overwhelming process, but with these tips you should be able to get through the process without too much drama. I’m sure both you and your parents will benefit from the new skills you’re able to teach them and the added independence they’ll gain in the process.