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November 09, 2002

My mom is pushing me over the edge!

Her friends showed her, and Ebay and shes keeps coming over to my house (when its convenient for her--not me) to have me show her how to use the computer and internet because she's thinking about getting a cheap system now.

She is beyond clueless when it comes to technology. She can't even rent a video tape and play it in her VCR (let alone set the clock) or even use her microwave to make popcorn without calling me for help. It took her a year to figure out how to pump her own gas and then they came out with SpeedPass and she was literally banned from one gas station in town. Don't even get me started on her ATM fiasco.

How does she expect to use a computer or even webtv?!! rolleyes.gif

If it was any other person I'd get away with saying, "OK, I charge $75 per hour for computer help." But I can't do that to my mom and sleep at night.

How do you set boundaries with a parent thats technically challenged and intent on doing something thats beyond their technical limits? I desperately need some advice.

Anyone else have or had a similar problem?

Posted in Main by usrbingeek at 2002-11-09 15:29 ET (GMT-5) | 1 Comments | Permalink


Hi steve. Are you feeling better? Remember feeling like you have the perpetual flu is a sign that your allergies may be more serious than you think. Does this kind of thing occur every year at this time? Keep track.


First I would encourage her to get that computer. Why? Because it will be at her house.

You can better manage the timespent on this project if you were the one who controlled how long the sessions last. Can't push mom out of your house. You can however say I have to leave now at hers easier. (I did not say easily).

Write instructions down in plain English. Use laymans terms for things you think are pretty obvious. (Just like you do for us computer illiterates on Bf).

Speak to her with the same courtesy you would a stranger. (Pretend you are talking to me if it helps).

Small steps at first. how to get on the internet. How to google.

Do not show her things like cut and paste. They may seem easy to you but for a beginner it's hard to remember all those steps.

Let her do everything the long way.

You so need to tell her before you start how much time you can put into these sessions. That way you don't wait until the moment you are going to blow up. We kids will tend to do this, because we prolong limit setting in order to please.

Also if the computer is at her house she may try fiddling around when your not there. Thereby shortening the learning time.

Don't install anything that she may accidently click and ruin the computer with. Keep it simple.

No e mail at first! She may very well be content to browse the web for awhile.

Some parents take along time to realize we are grown. I'm 38 and it is only the last two years my mom does not try to guilt trip me.

Yes I set limits. It is hard. You cannot control her actions only yours. If what you do is reasonable. try not to feel guilty.

Yes you should keep in mind that you didn't always need you diaper changed when it was convienent. You didn't need to be fed when it was convienent. etc.

Keep a BALANCE between all those things.

If she is anything like my mom she will resist these measures at first. Parents deserve our respect, and honor.

She may try the "after all I've done for you and you won't help me with this one little Thing" routine.

Think "I have also helped her. This is not the only one little thing I have helped her with"
"breathe count to ten"

Next comes the silent treatment.

You must still continue to keep your computer learning "appointments".

Call and remind her you will be coming.

(Silent treatments decrease in severity and lenght over TIME)

She may try the embarass you in front of her friends routine

She will act like your not there and tell them "I've asked him to help me with the computer, but he never has the time"

This is where keeping the "appointments comes in"

Dont make mom look like too big of a liar at this point.

state to the friend not her.

I am very busy. I have to limit the time I can teach mom the computer to keep my prior obligations right now.

This acknowledges her feelings that you have not spent the amount of time SHE feels would qualify as a proper amount. You have let the friend know that the never is not accurate. And that you still plan on helping mom.

Do not say "Thats not true I was just here on Tue."

This makes her look like a Liar and she will defend herself with any number of statements that keep leading you to disprove her.

example Yeah but that was only for five minutes.
you: Mom it was half an hour
her: but you only showed me how to open and close the browser.
you: That's all YOU COULD COMPREHEND!!!
friend repeats to neighbor hood that mom is right and you are an ungrateful &^%&%&^%

See the point.

Sorry but you can see I had my hands full also.

Last but not least remove this post as soon as you think she may be able to find this site!!!!You don't want her reading this.

Hope this helps.

Remember, Balance is the key word.


I am NOT checking this for any spelling or gramatical errors.

Posted by: Bent Elbow/Susan at November 9, 2002 11:16 PM

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