10 Technologies My Kids are Better at than Me


In the midst of a recent conversation, I listened as a mother with children the same age as my oldest brag that her son knows very little about technology because she does not allow it. I nodded in faux understanding, fighting back a smile and probably a snort. My 7-year-old doesn’t spend much time using technology, either, since she’d rather read a book or play outside or spend time with her friends. But she still knows more about technology than I know, and she’s only 7. In fact, I’m almost positive my 4-year-old and my 1-year-old twins know more about technology than I. Perhaps it’s my tech-genius husband that teaches them all that they need to know, or perhaps the sheer amount of technology that our lives run with that teaches them how to use so much technology. Either way, kids are much more tech-savvy than adults realize, and many of us are willing to admit that our kids are more tech-savvy than even we are; and that’s all right. Anytime I need to do one of the following activities, I ask one of my four kids. They’re smarter than me, after all.

Turn on Any Television in Our House

I can do it, but I promise you I have to go to the wall where any of the televisions are mounted and push the physical button. Since Direct TV brought out those annoying new remotes and since we have new boxes, I cannot get anything to happen when I hit the “On” button other than turning the satellite on. My kids can touch it and turn the television on in a half second; I cannot.

Download an App

Of course I can download apps, but my kids just happen to be better at this than I. Fortunately, they aren’t sure what my Apple Password is so they cannot download anything that requires payment. Thank goodness, or we’d be living in a cardboard box.

Turn On the Alarm Using the Mobile App

If one of the kids is playing with my phone, my husband’s phone or the iPad in the car, they will remind us that we did not activate the alarm on the way out, and they’ll do it for us. They keep tabs on us. Okay, they don’t want anyone taking their stuff and they feel we are incompetent.

Finding Shows on the DVR

If I’m searching for something on the DVR, I do it the old-fashioned way by scrolling through list after list. My kids will just type something in and play it in a second or less. They are just that smart and they know it.


My kids are good at FaceTime. It takes me a minute to figure out how to make a call turn into FaceTime or to find a FaceTime button to call my husband using it, but they can do it in no time at all with very little effort.

Browse Pinterest

If our kids want to make a new project or find something really cool on Pinterest for us to do, they will do it and find it in a second. If I want to paint the master bedroom a color and I search for that, it takes me an hour to find something even remotely close to what I intended when I initiated my search.

Create Playlists

Our kids are huge about doing this in the car. They’ll go through my iTunes music on my iPhone and create a new playlist while in the car, activate it via Bluetooth and make the music play throughout the car. They know what they want.

Work the DVD Player

I have very little idea how to work the DVD player in the car, but my kids can take the remote control and have a movie playing in a second, no previews or commercials and happiness on the faces in an instant. It takes me longer to figure out where the eject button is to change the movie on their behalf. In fact, we’ve given up on technology in the house and don’t even own a DVD player in any of the main rooms. Okay – we do, but I can’t remember what I did with them and where I stored them when we moved. There’s a good chance they were donated to charity.


My kids love to text daddy with my phone. The good news is that they are always amazing about asking first to do anything related to text or the internet, but they still do it and they are good at it. They can already read the lingo. They can already type quickly and they are extremely proficient when it comes to using the most fun emoticons they can find. I can’t even find the emoticons. I’m just saying.

Anything on the Tablet or iPad

There have been times I’ve been trying to read a book on my app on the iPad because I let my Kindle battery die and it has to charge, and I haven’t been able to figure it out. I just ask my kids to do it for me, and they are so good at it that they have what I need figured out in a second.

On that note, they can also use the iPad and the old iPhone we’ve designated as our Netflix remote to do anything on Netflix. I don’t even know which button to push on the television to turn it from satellite to Netflix, but they do. And they know how to play shows they want to watch. They’ve stopped asking me because they know I’m slow and incompetent.

Thank goodness for my kids and their tech-savvy ways. On that note, don’t even think for a second any of them are getting a cell phone until they’re driving or that they’re even allowed to think about social media. In our house, internet usage will be banned to the living room and only when we are present and can see what is going on in person.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


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