My 13 year old son has an extraordinary interest in cars. Our family often goes for walks in the evening and my son ends up commenting on several cars in the neighborhood. When our family sits at dinner my sons conversation always revolves around cars. He is very open to conversate however, my wife and I have trouble listening in the hustle and bustle in life. I know… it sounds bad and this blog will explain how I changed it using things I teach students in the classroom.
To start, I am going to rewind to last year in a management class I had at Oak Park and River Forest High School. At the beginning of class, I always had a group of students talking about high school football. They would always talk about players and teams in our conference. I let them know they should start a podcast and talk about it to widen their audience. They looked at me funny like it was a crazy idea. It is a crazy idea! That’s why I like it! I asked them if they ever heard of a high school football podcast by students out there. Nope. Never heard of it. I figured if they were talking about the teams and players and games in the conference, other students in the other schools would be too. They could branch out and grab some people from other schools and talk about football and widen their audience. Heck, there might have been a chance for sponsors! Well, that story ended there. I am not sure why they didn’t start one. Lack of confidence? Lack of know how? Lack of interest? Beats me.
That leads us back to my current challenge of spending quality time with a teenager and actually being able to listen to his interests without being “the Dad.” Challenge accepted. I took the idea I passed along to the high school students a year ago and put it into play at home. My son and I would start a podcast about his interest in cars. I knew that the ANchor app was easy to use with my Disrupt Education podcast so I started there. I created an intro with my son and we started recording. Actually, I had to pull him into it and make him do it at first. He was a little uncomfortable in the beginning. Once he heard me talking and how I acknowledged that he had more brains about cars than I do, he stepped up and started talking into the mic no problem. So far we have done 5 episodes and we have made a pact to do at least one a day. My son is in charge of picking the topic whether it is a car, a motor, anything automotive, he calls what we will talk about. I look up a few things about the car and we start recording our conversation.
There are so many positives to this father son podcast! We know talk everyday about cars and it usually leads to more talking about life in general. I feel I can communicate better with my teenager. When we listen back to the recorded podcast, we can hear positives and negatives about our speech patterns, annunciation, and overall vocabulary. We both look forward to sitting down together daily to record a podcast. It only takes about 20 minutes and it has done wonders for our relationship so far. There are so many ways we can teach our youth to use technology and social media these days. I decided to try out my own ideas with my son. We are learning together.
Our podcast is called Father Son Car Chats. It can be found at https://anchor.fm/father-soncarchats We’d love for you to listen to it and let us know what you think!