Friday, 11 December 2009

Family Tech Support

Somebody truly understands ...

I love my dad, but I'm going to lobotomize myself if I have to be his tech-support serf forever. When can I stop taking parental IT calls?

Having generously donated half your DNA, your pops is certainly entitled to some hand-holding as he navigates the frightening realms of Windows Vista and Facebook status updates. But if you're on the verge of jamming pencils into your frontal lobes, it's time to cut the cable.

That doesn't mean you need to go all unhelpful-IT-department on him ("Sorry, that is not supported"). Instead, says Laura Funk, a fellow at the University of Victoria's Center on Aging, "gently suggest that your father take some basic computer workshops. You could even offer to pay for them as a holiday present." Alternatively, on your next visit, walk dear old Dad through the basics of troubleshooting. And bring along one of those "For Dummies" books.

Then drop the hammer: If his hard drive starts screeching and smoking, sure, he can call. But short of that? He'll have to muddle through or call the Geek Squad. Tough love is still love; surely he gave you some of that, too.

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