There will likely still be some eye rolling involved, but oh how quickly they forget.

By Katie Bingham-Smith
Photo by Getty Images

I get so frustrated with my phone and laptop. I'm not just talking about forgotten password (but so much that).

I mean, why is Snapchat so hard to navigate? And when it comes to trying to figure out how to block a number so I can stop getting so many telemarketing calls, I'm clueless.

And how do you delete a contact? I have people in my phone I haven't talked to in over a decade and every time I try to go into the land of the unknown and clean it up, I need my kids' assistance.

When our Smart TV goes on the fritz, I put the controls down, don't touch a thing and walk away until one of my three teens come home so they can help me before the whole screen blows up, which I am sure I've come really close to doing at least five times.

The other day while trying to figure out how to tag someone on Instagram my sons were laughing, not being helpful at all. Then my daughter got so frustrated with me and ripped my phone away to do it herself because "explaining it to me was too hard."

Now I realize the technology generation was born just knowing how to use everything and the Gen-Xers need quite a bit of assistance, but I couldn't help myself: I had to remind them (in that very moment) helping their mother with such a small task was nothing compared to all the things we help them learn how to do throughout the years.

"You know, you don't remember this, but it took months for you all to learn how to tie your shoes. And do you recall always wanting to buckle yourself into the car, but you couldn't quite do it? Did I ever rip the seat belts away from you in frustration?"

"Probably," my daughter said as she tagged my friend in the post and handed my phone back and went back to the very important business of her group chat. How do you mute one of those by the way? My friends can talk my ear off and before I know, I'm 45 texts in the hole and my head is spinning.

I asked her to go over it with me one more time and I swore I'd remember because I know her patience is wearing thin on her ignorant mother, but she was too busy so I had to do it—I had to go deeper—I had to go into the potty-training years and describe the months of sweat and tears and trying to get them to go in the potty and not on the floor or in their pants as I was wheeling them around in a car cart at the grocery store.

The backbreaking work of teaching them how to wipe their bums can't even touch what they need to help their parents out with. Swiping is so much easier than wiping and you don't need to give the whole family a shower after a lesson on how to only let certain friends see your Facebook post. Please, they have nothing to complain about.

I know parents of the world feel a bit fumbl-y at times when we reach for our phones or are trying to figure out how to hook Alexa up to the lights because it's ridiculously fun to say, "Alexa, turn off living room lights," and we thank the heavens above it just comes easy for out teens and we can count on them to get home from school and relieve some of the stress. I fully support that way of life—it's a good system and my kids need to get on board.

But what we don't need is the eye rolls and comments about how we need to learn how to do this as they threaten to take their knowledge and help away. Please, children who I gave birth to and keep fed, put that energy into showing your mom how to add to her Snapchat story.

After all, we've taught them how to go to the bathroom. We've shown them the proper way to twirl pasta on the fork, and if it wasn't for us, they wouldn't have a cellphone or laptop in the first place. They hate when I remind them of this which is why I do it all the time.

The way I see it, by asking for their help and frustrating the heck out of them because we are clueless to all the important things in life, aren't we just priming them and their patience for when they have kids of their own, and the bum-wiping games, shoe-tying lessons, and bike-riding teaching need to be on point?

I'd say so. I make no apologies to my kids for not knowing how to record future shows on our Smart TV. I taught them how to do some dirty work they can give me this gift in return.

Advertisement