Pop culture - it probably means something different to you than it does to your kids.
You likely don’t share the same taste in movies, music, or books.
I mean, there are certain types of media that appeal to all ages and a variety of personalities - classics, if you will. But in general, kids and adults usually define what’s “good” in entertainment…..differently.
Here’s the thing. When you share in your child’s interests, you’re telling them that you value their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. For just a few minutes out of your day, you’re stepping into their world.
By building that bridge, you’re keeping the lines of communication open.
And by starting when they’re young, you’re building a strong foundation so that as they get older and are faced with challenging situations, they’ll know they can come to you for advice. You will be their safe space.
The great thing about Pinna is that they’ve created a platform where parents and kids can listen together. My kids and I turn it on every time we’re in the car and I enjoy listening just as much as they do!
By making time to listen WITH your kids, you will open the door to so many fantastic conversations.
Why is it important to listen to audio with your kids?
Well, the simple answer is that it’s important to know what media your kids are consuming. And it’s equally important to engage them in conversation about what they’re watching, reading, and listening to.
Regarding audio specifically, podcasts and audiobooks offer our eyes a break from screens, while still activating our brains. And they are also great for all those “in-between” times….. Audio provides the opportunity to turn meal prep, driving time, and even chores into quality time as a family.
Bottom line, take time to talk to your kids about their entertainment choices. Ask questions. Make observations.
Most importantly, enjoy this time together. It won’t last forever.
How can you get started?
Well, as I’ve discussed above, it’s important to share in all types of media with your kids. Have discussions about the books they’re reading, watch TV together in the evenings vs. everyone retreating to their separate screens, etc.
Here’s how to get started.
Pick a podcast that interests you or your kids and start listening. We’ll have some recommendations to get you started at the end of this post.
After listening, talk to your kids about what you heard. Some podcasts encourage engagement either through an interactive format or a topic that organically leads to discussion. Still, you may encounter others that leave you feeling unsure of where to start. Here are some prompts to help…
- What are your thoughts on (topic XYZ)?
- How do you feel about what so-and-so said right there?
- How would you have handled that situation differently?
- Do you think that was the right thing to do?
- How do you think that situation made so-and-so feel?
- If you were a part of this story, what character would you play and why?
These are just a few questions you might ask your child during or after listening to a podcast or audiobook with them. Don’t be afraid to press pause and dig in and discuss.
Conversely, don’t be afraid to just listen for the sake of enjoyment either. Not everything needs to be a learning experience. Just being present with your child and taking interest in the things they like is often enough.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Recommended listening to spark a conversation
This is, in no way, an exhaustive list. Any time spent with your kids engaging in something they’re interested in is always time well spent.
That said, onto the list.
- Smash Boom Best: Cats or Dogs? Pizza or Tacos? Every episode of the debate show Smash Boom Best takes on two really cool things, then smashes them together to let you decide which is best. Debaters use facts and passion to make the case for which item should be crowned the Smash Boom Best.
- Pickle: Is it ever okay to tell a lie? What makes a real friend? And here’s a question: How much is a person’s life worth? Yikes, that’s a tough one! Join the cast of Pickle as we explore life’s stickiest wickets, with the help of curious kids–and the occasional elephant. It’s philosophy made fun.
- Time for Kids Explains: Kid reporters from TIME for Kids magazine bring you the news of the week, with stories, interviews, quizzes, games, and more!
- Short and Curly: A fast-paced, fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking. It asks curly questions about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future.
- I Survived: Each audiobook in the series tells a terrifying and thrilling story from history, through the eyes of a kid who lived to tell the tale.
- Discover the Forest: Discover the Forest through the eyes and ears of the Velez family as they visit various parks, forests, trails, and mountains. Whether they're exploring by canoes in the Mangroves, or hiking up the Appalachian trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Velez family is always enjoying a natural wonder.
- Magic School Bus: Scientific facts meets fantasy when teacher Ms Valerie Frizzle takes her class on field trips to impossible locations, including the solar system, clouds, the past, and the human body.
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: Get inspired by the lives of accomplished women, from artists to athletes, scientists to spys. Each episode features a different, and fascinating, world-changing woman. Melinda Gates, Jodi Kantor, Pamela Adlon and other female narrators share the adventures and stories of these historical figures.
- ExtraBLURT: Play along with ExtraBLURT, an interactive audio game show for the whole family! Hosts Charlie and Aleah invite you to shout out answers to a variety of fun-filled challenges.
- The Totally Unauthorized Minecraft Fan Show: Hear fellow crafters tell their Minecraft stories... from amazing adventures, to devious pranks, to epic fails. Plus, test your own mastery with a Minecraft quiz and a building challenge
We’re all ears!