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8 things everyone has to teach their dads how to do

Using emojis, the supermarket self-checkout lane, and more life skills we end up teaching our parents

Photos: ING Image
Photos: ING Image
18 Jun 2015

Photos: ING Image

Every Father’s Day, we wax poetic about everything our dads taught us how to do: how to cycle, how to create a budget, how to ace an interview, or how to kill cockroaches with just a slipper and a plastic bag. But the older we get, the more we find ourselves returning the favour – ESPECIALLY when it comes to technology. Here are the top 8 things every grown-up child has to teach his or her dad how to do.

1. How to use emojis
1. How to use emojis
18 Jun 2015

1. How to use emojis

When confronted with emojis, dads will reciprocate with the usual hearts and smiley faces before assailing you with paragraphs of pufferfish, mushrooms, eggplants, and the jack-o-lantern. It won’t be long before interpreting their messages will be akin to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.

While it might be maddening to decipher a string of trees, stars, and the black faced moon, keep in mind that your dad is excited about picking up something new. And naturally, as your emoji progeny, he wants to test his prowess on you, the pro.

2. That it’s okay not to accept Candy Crush invites on Facebook
2. That it’s okay not to accept Candy Crush invites on Facebook
18 Jun 2015

2. That it’s okay not to accept Candy Crush invites on Facebook

As long-time Facebook users, we’re used to rejecting game invites. But our well-meaning, sometimes-overly-polite parents can’t bear to turn down invites from their fellow aunties and uncles, who probably only sent out the request by accident. To us, it’s nothing. To them, it’s personal. The next time your dad starts debating whether or not he should keep playing Farmville and Candy Crush with your mum's cousin, introduce him to the wonders of the BLOCK APP function on Facebook.

3. How to use the supermarket self-checkout lane
3. How to use the supermarket self-checkout lane
18 Jun 2015

3. How to use the supermarket self-checkout lane

No matter how long the queue is, our parents will still line up in the regular check-out lanes instead of the self-checkout stations. Honestly, we don’t blame them: up until a few years ago, self-checkout machines could barely function without an attendant intervening. But now that the process is relatively painless, converting your parents is as easy as offering to PAY for their groceries if they will only let you use the self-checkout lane.

4. How to take horizontal videos on a phone
4. How to take horizontal videos on a phone
18 Jun 2015

4. How to take horizontal videos on a phone

Nine out of ten times, the videos our parents post on Facebook are shown vertically. But be patient with your parents: it’s tough enough for some of them to find the “record” button, let alone remember to turn their phone sideways for a horizontal video. The easiest solution? Download an app that only records horizontal video. That way, Dad will have one less thing to worry about when shooting videos of his precious grandchildren.

5. That it’s okay to buy a new device instead of having the one old repaired over and over again
5. That it’s okay to buy a new device instead of having the one old repaired over and over again
18 Jun 2015

5. That it’s okay to buy a new device instead of having the one old repaired over and over again

Oh, the joys of watching Dad haul his 7-year-old PC (still running Windows XP) to the shop for the second time in six months….not. Our parents aren’t stupid: they know that in the long run, it’s more cost-effective to replace a malfunctioning device with a new one. But if your dads are anything like ours, then they’re not the type to give up on something that still has the potential to revive itself. Much like how they feel about us. So if you’re tired of seeing your parents struggle with a burnt-out phone or laptop, perhaps it’s time to treat them to a new device so that they don’t feel so guilty buying one themselves.

6. How to avoid Facebook scams
6. How to avoid Facebook scams
18 Jun 2015

6. How to avoid Facebook scams

Spend enough time on Facebook, and you’ll be adept at spotting Facebook scams. But your parents, who are relatively new to Facebook, are prime targets for “free giveaways”, “viral videos”, “custom profiles”, and other hoaxes that can install programmes capable of stealing your information.

If internet literacy doesn’t come naturally to your parents, then it’s up to you to inform them of hoaxes before they can even see them. Screenshot the ones that show up on your feed and send the photos to your parents with a warning not to click.

7. How to use iBanking
7. How to use iBanking
18 Jun 2015

7. How to use iBanking

Most of us are so used to handling our transactions on the go that we’ve forgotten the days when you had to sacrifice an entire afternoon just to deposit a few cheques. And chances are, your parents still live in the era where queuing an hour at the bank was considered a worthy use of one’s time. If they don’t mind, let them be. But the moment they start complaining about the queue, jump in with an offer to teach them internet banking. They’ll feel a little concerned about safety at first, so make sure you’ve done enough research to convince them that the bank’s apps are as secure as the actual, physical bank.

8. How to upgrade their personal hygiene gadgets
8. How to upgrade their personal hygiene gadgets
18 Jun 2015

8. How to upgrade their personal hygiene gadgets

And by personal hygiene gadgets, we mean their toothbrush. Tooth decay is a major problem amongst the elderly, with many having to give up chili crab for porridge, soup, and oatmeal once their teeth start to rot. So help them prolong their health and enjoyment of food for a bit longer with the gift of an electric toothbrush, which is not only more effective than a manual toothbrush, but a lot more fun to use. If they refuse to believe you, throw in a few anecdotes about how your teeth improved once you made the switch – and remind them that in the long run, maintaining your teeth costs less than it does to fix them.

If you still need ideas for a Father’s Day present, check out Oral B’s Professional Care 3000, which also uses a visual pressure sensor to help reduce brushing force (Dad’s gums need TLC too, guys).

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