Sunday, October 14, 2007

How to talk to children

I love the NPR series This American Life. And since I have recently discovered the joy of downloading podcasts on iTunes at home, I added the show to my list.

This weeks episode was about talking to children, and how adults make mistakes when talking to them. You can listen to it here.

The show starts with a number of children talking about what they hate about adults' conversations with them ("Why is it always - 'How's school?' - don't they have anything else to talk about?"). It then goes into the story of two stand-up comics who had to create a show for 11 year olds. If you have seen any stand up comedy here, you know why that can be tough. The part where they talk to the kids after the show is done is pretty revealing.

Act two is about Sex. They interview the editors of Sex, Etc., a national magazine for teenagers. Then they go into the story of what happened when a mother learned that her daughter was having sex.

Finally, they explore the 'benefits' of yelling at children.

Having had interactions with 7-12 year olds recently [kids of friends, cousins], I understand how tough it can be to interact with kids that age, and loved the show. Strongly recommended listening.

P.S. Do NOT watch Bhool Bhulaiya.. terrible movie.. I came out sad, pained and angry
P.P.S. The radio show is here, in case you missed the link :-).

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