Radio and Kids
From an early age, kids learn that questions yield answers. Not always the answers they want or the answers they expect, but it’s a tool to start a dialog and get information.
Sometimes a question leads in a direction that no one anticipates. Here’s a rough transcript from a conversation I had this week with one of the three-year-olds in my life who listens to radio (including NCPR):
Three-Year-Old: “You are going to work today?”
Me: “Yes. Very soon.”
TYO: “With Todd Moe?!”
TYO: “I love Todd Moe. He’s a good guy…”
Me: (surprised and delighted) “Yes, he is!”
TYO: (picking up as if I had not interrupted) “…’cause he can talk about it…and he hears me talk about it…”
I never did ask what “it” was because my mind was already moving ahead. Two things struck me. The first has to do with kids. I appreciate their instincts. They generally can feel when someone is trying too hard – or not enough. They can sense the genuine. I’m lucky enough to actually know Todd, and I know that he IS a good guy. Still, it was neat to hear this little listener put it our there.
Second, radio can be a special companion. You listen, and a real person presents information and perhaps entertainment – and who seems to listen as you talk back to the radio. Technically, radio is a one-way transmission…but the people who do it really well make it seem like a two-way relationship.
It’s a craft – a gift? – to be able to do this. And thinking about it reminded me how much I appreciate my own kitchen radio, the special announcers/DJs that I’ve known, and the opportunities I’ve had to be behind the microphone, too.
Wait a second, Shelly. I wanna talk to your kid so we can figure out if Todd is listening to what I’m saying at the same time he’s listening to what your kid is saying. Give that kid a big hug. He certainly does have good instincts!