Why Technology Instruction for Mom is the Perfect Gift

Most moms were raised before the Internet, texting, and Bluetooth technology became every day tools. She has heard the terms, but probably does not know how to begin using the technology. While grasping all of the features of the latest iPhone may be second-nature to you, she may be intimidated by the both the technology and terminology.

Empower your mom by offering her instruction on a particular technology. Your instruction may vary by her age and/or interests. If she is elderly, she may simply want to learn how to use the Internet and send email. Help her get an Internet connection established. Show her how to use a browser, and send some test email messages. If your mom is a little younger, she may want to learn how to instant message on her PC or join a forum. You can sign her up, show her how to use it and talk about netiquette for those areas.

Your mom likely has a mobile phone, but doesn't know anything about hands-free use with a Bluetooth. Maybe she would like to learn to texting. Walk her through the how to use a camera phone and send pictures. Offer to go with her to purchase her new phone, so you can explain features and help her choose what is important to her.

You should always follow-up your lessons with written summaries or tips. She will not remember everything you discussed, and she may feel embarrassed to ask you questions later. Provide her with instructions she can review, and assure her that learning about new gadgets takes time and practice.

If you do not have the patience to instruct Mom or you live far away, consider purchasing instructional classes at a local community college or computer center. Another option is to pay a PC technician (from a reputable company) to come to your mom's home and spend an hour or so with her.

Talk to your mom to find out her areas of interest. She may not open up at first, but keep asking the questions necessary to pinpoint her needs. Do not make assumptions about her base of knowledge and avoid using jargon without explanations. Do not overwhelm her with information in one sitting. It may take a couple of lessons for more complicated technologies.