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D. Yvette Shirey Headshot

Life Lessons From the Radio

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As a mom of a 12-year-old girl, I am always keeping my ears and eyes open for "Life Lesson"
opportunities ... those moments that allow you to learn from your own experiences or, even
better and less painful, from the experiences of others.

Driving back and forth to school, my daughter and I spend a lot of time in the car and I have
discovered the radio is chock-full of content that I use for these "Life Lesson" opportunities.

The news itself is the obvious source. Stories about bullying in school, under-age drinking
and driving, teenage pregnancy, and the horrifying mistakes kids make on social media
sites that cost them their reputation, their childhood, their future and sometimes their life,
have all been great conversations starters for us.

My favorite is the "Celebrity Scoop" because while we adults know that news stories are
the true reality, kids relate to the pop stars of today. Taking their misfortune and stupid
decisions into consideration is always a helpful tool in the quest to get my daughter through puberty and the upcoming teenage years with minimal bumps and bruises from life. After all, even my budding actress does not want to end up like these train-wreck teenage stars.

Advertisements are even useful, if for nothing else they provide content for the lighter side
of our open conversations. Great for holiday gift ideas, what's new for school, vacation
plans, and reminders that I need to make her next orthodontist appointment.

The funniest source is lyrical content. If you don't already, I suggest every parent listen to
the words of the songs your children listen to. Granted, most of the time my daughter is
far more in tune to the melody and feel of the music. When I make her listen to the words,
she either quickly turns the channel for fear I may hear something my ears do not want
to hear or we discuss how anyone would want to be treated the way these songs portray.
Thank goodness for these tunes because I think it will help steer my daughter clear of some
ridiculous and sometimes scary situations.

So, before you pop in the CD or turn on your media players, stop and listen to the radio and
talk with your kids. I learn a lot every day.