First, to begin helping your loved one learn to use a new gadget or new technology, read the first column in this series.
The next step is to start over each time you’re asked to help. Don’t worry if the last session ended badly with frustration, irritation, or guilt. You can and MUST start over. Helping your loved one learn these skills will save you time and grief in the long run. You’re guiding them toward independence rather than more dependence on you.
That being said, if your loved one is local, stop fixing technology problems each time you get together. Yes, it is easier and may take just a second, but the problem is likely to return once you’re apart.
There are two education mottos to stick in your mind.
I DO IT / WE DO IT / YOU DO IT
This motto comes from a book called Explicit Instruction (Anita Archer and Charles Hughes). Based on the needs of your loved one, you may go through the steps of this cycle more than once. It could be more like this:
I DO IT – I DO IT – I DO IT – I DO IT (modeling)
WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT - WE DO IT, etc. (practicing)
YOU DO IT (INDEPENDENCE!)
The important process is that, after modeling the skill (several times), and practicing it with your loved one (multiple times), that you trust them to do the skill independently. The impatience you feel when repeatedly practicing a skill will eventually be rewarded. Consequently, if you keep doing everything for your loved one, they will not advance past that first level which only renews their desperation.
Finally, an equally supportive education motto that applies to these sessions is “Repetition is the key to adult learning.” This is a TRUTH! So, take it to heart and HELP them learn!
Get into the right attitude and guide your loved one with patience and compassion through these technology skills. If not you, then maybe I can help.
Gilbert Gadget Girl “Student -centered kindness.”
Gilbert Gadget Girl