I got a call the other day from a senior citizen wanting instruction on the iPad her family had so generously given her. She came to me in frustration over her grandchildren’s inability to understand her slower paced comprehension of what they were teaching her. She also shared how daunting the fact was that the six -year-old next door neighbor had more knowledge on computers than she. She had been watching for a while as her family shared photos, enjoyed games, and funny emails. She felt like she was truly missing out.
As the owner of Kim Cares Electronic Help, I hear a lot of these stories. Why is it so hard to learn computer tech skills from a family member? I have come to these two conclusions. We have watched our parents amaze us throughout our lives with their constant feats of wisdom and perseverance. Some of our parents have even built successful businesses from scratch. So it seems natural to think they could easily master the technology of today...heck they did everything else! We have also had a lifetime to establish habits (not always good ones) in the way we interact and communicate with our parents and grandparents. Let me tell you from my own experience…. these habits get in the way when it comes to teaching!
Let’s face it....just like anything else that is new, there is a learning process and everyone has to start at the beginning! But because the younger generation has grown up with this evolving technology from birth, it makes sense that they cannot understand and have patience when it comes to teaching their family. They just have a hard time understanding this “teaching from the beginning” principle. And because computers are not something seniors have grown up with as a child; they feel stupid asking questions they know will be elementary for most, and often feel talked down to by family members. Is it any wonder why a large part of the senior community just doesn’t bother to try tackling technology at all?
Now don’t get me wrong. Some children are perfectly fine when it comes to imparting information in a way the senior members of their family can understand, but it seems to be a small percentage. That is why I decided to start Kim Cares Electronic Help.
Not only do I come to my clients' home, but I start from a place they feel comfortable with. I don’t talk down to my customers and I completely understand their frustration. I let them know, just like anything they have not seen or had experience with, that I don’t expect them to know much, and that’s okay.
I try to find out how they learn best; whether it be visuals, hands-on, or writing notes. I don’t teach four different ways to do the same thing; I tell them to learn what is comfortable and what sticks with them and not to let anyone tell them otherwise. The bottom line is to get them started, feeling confident and most of all to have fun!
If you know someone that can benefit from my help, please call me, Kim Schultz, at 619-261-1585.
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