This isn't the first time that I've provided support for their PC or the PC of some other family member of mine, and probably not the last. I guess every geek finds himself as the "family tech support".
When my brother's computer breaks down, I usually start a remote desktop session using the IM client, and solve the issue. Now, I want to have the same ability with my parents, only this time it must be done with zero interaction on their side. I want to be able to call my mom, and tell her to turn on the PC. That's it. No confirmation dialogs, no chat and no nothing.
This is why I installed on their PC the free version of LogMeIn. It starts as a service, supports wake-up-on-LAN and doesn't require any router configuration. Problem is that the user experience on my end isn't very good. Performance lag even on a 2.5Mbps line. Maybe it's a price I have to pay, or maybe there are better services which does the same and I'm not aware of.
A final tip for this post: most non-techie-parents will do just fine with a limited computer account (when using Windows/Linux). There really isn't a good reason for them to use a privileged account just for browsing the web and using Skype.