Helping My Parents with THEIR OWN DVD Player

DVD player by AlishaV

photo by Alisha V

When I first started blogging about the Sandwich Generation, I shared a story about helping my dad put the cell phone on “vibrator.” Events with my parents (who are in their mid-70s) and technology seem to happen every day. My almost 3-year-old daughter has taught them all about Angry Birds, although Grandpa still can’t get the birds to go up–they fly flat, crash, and burn.

But the best story lately is when I had to help my mom and dad at their house figure out how to watch a DVD on their TV. The DVD player has been hooked up in this same way for 3 years now–my husband did it for them when they got a new TV . What FINALLY encouraged them to learn how to work the DVD player and watch a movie? My daughter. They were babysitting, she wanted to watch Aladdin, and so the lesson began.

I had written down the directions, step-by-step, for them a couple months before. But they never used them. If they babysat for long periods of time, they usually do it at my house. So, if my daughter was over there and watching a movie, I would turn it on for them all, run to my doctor’s appointment, and then get back home before the movie was over, since I seemed to be the only one who could figure this out. You may think I’m joking–I. AM. NOT. JOKING.

On the day of the lesson, I showed my mom the two remotes needed to watch the movie–the TV remote and the DVD remote. I explained how when they watched cable, the source of the picture was the cable box, and how when they wanted to watch the DVD player, the source of the picture was the DVD, which was labeled as AV1 on the TV menu. I showed her how to hit the SOURCE button on the TV remote and how to choose AV1. And then I thought we were good to go.

Grandma and KB

Grandma and KB

But we were not good to go because she wanted to practice. So, practice we did. She held the remotes in her hand, and I went through the entire process (which takes about 30 seconds at the most) to get the movie on the screen, play it, and then stop it and get the cable back. When we were finished, I told her this was going to be my next blog post. She told me to be quiet. :)

And then she said, “It’s this easy to watch a movie? I could watch DVDs now?”

I also said that pretty soon, KB would be able to do it from just this demonstration and could help Grandma figure out. This time, my mom told me to shut-up (with a smile). My mom and dad are the sweetest and very intelligent people. They help me whenever I need it. I have decided that this technology thing is because when they were young, when people learn the easiest–like foreign languages–they were busy playing outside and going to sock hops–not playing Angry Birds on the tablet or watching DVDs on the TV. Heck, did they even have a TV?

Later that week–at my house, in our bedroom , we have a TV/VCR still (yes, we live behind the times, too). KB likes to lay in bed and watch a movie (yes, we still have a couple VHS tapes), and my mom said–you will have to show me how to work that TV.


Any funny stories about this from your neck of the woods?


  • Your mom sounds funny. My great aunt has gotten pretty good at working her DVD/VCR/Cable. Even for me, it took the longest time to understand the different inputs and remember which one is: Wii, DVD Player, Chromecast (this is really cool, would highly recommend it), and regular TV. I hope that I’m still learning and growing when I’m 70 plus :)

  • My parents always want to rely on me for helping them with their technology, too. The unfortunate part for them, however, is that I’m just about as technologically challenged as they are, so it’s a bit like the blind leading the blind… :(

    • That’s why you are having a baby. In about 5 years, that baby will be able to help you all. LOL

  • This is great! My mom, who just turned 80, bought an IPad and has learned how to use it; I’m so impressed. Granted, she’s on her third Facebook account because she can never remember her passwords, but STILL… I thought an IPad was pretty big doins’ for her and she’s loving it. We even play Words with Friends together. AND… she left me a note on Words with Friends.

    I’m only 49 and I can’t believe how many techno questions I ask my kids. They roll their eyes at me, however. You’re a much better child.

    • No, I think I just make myself look good. :) LOL I think it’s awesome that your mom bought an iPad. My mom wants to get on Facebook next because my uncle showed her pictures of the kids that she hadn’t ever seen and she said to me… I have to get on Facebook to see these? :) Actually, I should encourage her to get on Facebook. It could be months of material. :) I love you, Mom!

  • HAHA – I love this story.
    I had a wonderful neighbor, Eddie, he was in his late 70’s at the time. One night he came over to have a beer on the deck with us (yes he drank a beer every day, so did his dog). My husband got out the ipod to play some music. Ed was amazed that songs were in that “little white thing”. We download tunes from his “area” (quickly). We played some of them. The shock on his face was classic. I am sure he hadn’t heard that music in decades. We really couldn’t explain how it all worked; it was too much for him at that time. So we had a beer and he even danced a little!

    Ed now into his 80’s isn’t so light on his feet, but still a hoot to be around. We take technology for granted, but there are so many people who can’t understand it. Patience is key – You defiantly have that Sandwich Lady….I would of pulled my hair out a long time ago :)

    • I think I remember Eddie-he took my hubby over to his house to look at planes? I try to have patience. My mom would probably say otherwise. . .

  • Love it!

    • Thanks for checking us out, Em! Good to see you here. :)

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