Tag Archives: parents

Breath In, Breath Out and Stay Calm When Teaching Your Elderly Parents about Technology

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

YouTube Excitement

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks. My elderly father is in town. He is slow-paced in his ways but then again, he’s 81-years-old. Dad is quite smart and even though he is not too knowledgeable about the latest technology, once he learns, he’s unstoppable. A few months ago, he discovered YouTube. It was miraculous for him. As an avid gardener, he began researching anything and everything regarding gardening. Every time I called him, he would give me a lecture on how to fertilize this, and how to water that, and so on.

“You don’t have YouTube,” Dad would tell me.

“Dad, of course, I have access to YouTube. It is everywhere for anyone to access,” I’d respond.

“No, but in my YouTube, I learn how to care for my garden,” he’d reply.

Realizing he did not understand the YouTube concept, I opted to let it be. Dad watched the YouTube videos on his home television but claimed it was hard to navigate the keyboard on the remote. While there is a television in the bedroom he’s using, there is no extra keyboard, but I had an older laptop that was no longer in use. I asked him if he’d like to have it. His eyes gleamed with excitement as a child does. Therefore, I set up the laptop for his use and gave it to him. It thrilled him to learn to use it. 

I Need to be Patient

While sometimes it annoyed me to repeat things, it also made me realize his mind was not as sharp as before and I needed to have patience. I took a couple of breaths in and out to calm myself and patiently taught him how to navigate a laptop. I’m also aware he used my son’s expertise to master his way around the internet.

Upgrade to a Newer Phone

Just a few days ago, while we spent some time together, I noticed his old school cell phone. He told me he has had it for the past six or seven years. I asked him if he’d like to upgrade it. My son had recently upgraded his cell phone and still held on to his old iPhone XS. When he excitedly told me he would love to as long as he didn’t have to pay anything, I laughed but got to work on switching phones. He is still learning his way around the iPhone but is keen to learn and picks up quickly. 

Dad’s Emoji — Photo by the Author

Emoji Fun and Email

Today, I taught him how to create his own emoji. He laughed at it and said it did not look like him. But I could tell he was excited to use it — especially when I heard he sent his wife the emoji.

He also inquired about the E-mail address I created for him. “What is this and what is it for?” he asked.

“That’s your E-mail address Dad?” I replied.

“What does it do?” he asked.

I explained how and what the E-mail is for. I’m quite surprised he understood it so quickly.

“It’s like writing a letter and sending it, but instead of sending it through regular mail, you send it through the internet,” he responded.

“Yes Dad, that’s exactly what it is,” I said, as I looked at his gleaming eyes.

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They Taught Us

My point is, I’ve heard people complain about how their elderly parents have forgotten how to perform some basic things and they have to reteach them. While I was teaching my father how to use a laptop and an iPhone, I realized how fragile their minds are. I had patience in teaching my children, just like my parents had it with me. I remembered how Dad taught me to drive with patience and perseverance. He never scolded or gave up on me. Therefore, why can’t I have the patience to help him in his time of need? Every day he asks me something regarding his iPhone, and I learned to respond to his questions patiently and sweetly.

Therefore, never forget that possibly one day, we will all be at the other end of this journey and will need our children’s help. So be patient and nice while responding to their questions and/or teaching them about something not familiar to them, because they were patient and nice to you.


Why Is It So Hard to Call Your Parents?

Is the expression, “the phone works both ways,” valid when it comes to our elderly parents? Is it justified to not call the person who raised you and cared for you because they don’t call you? Or is it just ignorance from some?

I recently attended a party and the conversation came up by one of the attendees (John) about his father. John was talking about his elderly father. His father recently called and during their conversation mentioned that John never calls him. He told his father that the phone worked both ways.

I’ve known John for many years now. I am aware that his father does not live locally and is in his late 70’s. I also know that John was raised by his mother and father. I never heard of any negligence or bad childhood experiences. John’s father worked two jobs all his life to sustain his family. So I believe he must have been a good provider. Therefore, I was shocked to hear those words from John.

I immediately reminded John that his dad was close to his 80’s. I told him to understand that all his dad wants is to hear from his son. John was adamant that his dad should initiate the call. And, not expect John to call first. I told John to think of it in a different way. “Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if your kids didn’t call or visit you.” His response was, “I don’t have kids.”

It made me sad. Not that John didn’t have kids, but his reaction to his father’s phone call. There are so many children that don’t have a father figure in their lives. So many children are longing for that fatherly figure to talk to, interact with and follow their steps. It made me sad to know that there are parents that gave their all to support their family and are forgotten as soon as the children become adults. It is very sad.

Photo by Emma Bauso

My dad is almost 80 and lives over 1000 miles away. I do not see him often. In fact, last time I saw my dad was about 3 years ago. But I speak with my dad on the phone at least once a month if not more. I do not mind calling him. I enjoy hearing his stories. I get many gardening tips from him. We talk for almost an hour on average and I make sure to let him know that I love him.

So tell me, am I being too sensitive, ridiculous or old-fashioned? Or am I right to feel that our elderly parents deserve to hear and have frequent visits from us? I understand that not everyone had a good experience with their parents. But, regarding those that did, what’s your take on this subject?


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. My intention in writing this book is to help other grieving parents reach the place of peace that I have. If I can help at least one parent, then I am happy.

I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.