Ballad of a Tech-Impaired Mom

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It used to be easy, my mother once said

It used to be simple, it’s true

But now there are Iphones and tablets and more

All sorts of screens now to view.


How do you manage, if never before

Have parents faced such a struggle?

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more

Can leave my old brain befuddled.


You see her there, face down and focused

On a screen that was never my purview

You realize the power in the palm of her hand

And that old tactics can no longer serve you.


Not going outside or walking downtown

You think of the things you know she is missing

Eye contact, exercise, great old novels

Or maybe the boys she’s not kissing (oh wait, that probably still happens).


She recoils, embarrassed, when I say something like

“TTFN” or “selfie”

But I’ll tell you right now, if she talks back,

That phone’s going up on the shelf-y.


But hold on, there’s a flip side as well

When a tale such as this is related

She’s a tech wizard it turns out and she helps

A mom whose skill building’s belated.


She knows what to do when I’m so confused

Frozen screens, copy and pasting

I just call her and plead to help me out please

Rolls her eyes at the time I’ve been wasting.


And you know what?  I look at her closely and see

A girl with a good head on her shoulders

She’s bright and savvy and lively and sharp

I don’t worry about when she gets older.


So maybe the moral of the story should be

To take a step back and find

All the ways you can meet her halfway


And just let her live in her time.


photos by Barbara Paulsen at

9 thoughts on “Ballad of a Tech-Impaired Mom

  1. Love this, I used to think I was all that and a bag of chips when I worked on a computer and my parents still typed on their typewriter. . .30 years later I am the one getting schooled by my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this poem – nice job. It made me think of a talk by the head of the Harvard MIT Open Education site about the future of education mixed with technology. At one point in the talk he jokes about getting monosyllabic answers to his attempts at making converstion with his teenage daughter, until he started texting her! This turned out to be an ice breaker for him. It’so a very good talk. Here’s the link if you’re interested…


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