On kids and listening to the radio (or podcasts, or audiobooks, or music)

Peter responded to my previous post on giving Daughter a cordless headphones.

Our variation on this theme involves providing Oliver with access to podcasts or music to listen to while he’s going to sleep.

comment by Peter on The unexpected perk of going cordless

He then describes four variations for Oliver to be able to play music in his room. Peter’s response reminds me that I’m still looking for a good solution to giving Daughter more autonomy in her own ‘listening behavior’. At some point in the near future I want her to be able to decide to listen to music or audio stories for herself, without having to ask me or her dad for permission.

The thing is, my household has digitized music to such an amount that it’s only accessible through a mobile phone or a computer. We have Sonos speakers in the house and through the Sonos app, we either start radio, our digitized CD collection or Spotify streams. I don’t allow Daughter access to my phone without my supervision, and will keep it that way for ever. She will one day have her own phone, but that will be in the distant future. But when it comes to listening to music or audio stories I don’t want to restrain her. I want her to explore this stuff without parental supervision.

When I was her age, we still lived in Compact Cassette-land (CD’s came in my teens). I had access to tapes with kids’ stories and music that sat in a cupboard and could get them out and play them all by myself. I remember clearly how I listened to folk tales in my own room, or to audio recordings of my favorite tv-show.

How do young kids these days know what is available to them without a physical presence in the home? Of course I introduced Daughter to some kids music (that made it through my filter), so she knows there is music available ‘out there’, but how do I give a three year old access to her stories and music albums whenever she wants to without giving her access to a device that can do too much?

By |2019-08-02T14:46:23+02:002 augustus 2019|flow|2 Comments

The unexpected perk of going cordless

During our vacation I gifted Daughter a cordless headphone. She loves listening to audio stories when we’re driving so I took a subscription to Storytel. With a two week trial for free, I thought it would be an excellent way to listen to something new, instead of an entire vacation listening to the three CD’s I bought her last year, which Man and I know by heart by now. The stories of Opilopi turned out the be a hit, just as the classics of Jip en Janneke.

The only problem with audiobooks is that we can’t really listen to them while in the tent, because I’m the type who refuses to impose unnecessary noise on others (unlike other guests at the campground this year). Then we went to one of those oversized supermarkets France is larded with and it had its own electronics store. Man had to search for a new charger for his phone, so I took the opportunity to look at the headphones and spotted the perfect one for Daughter: kid sized and wireless. It was an instant hit. Daughter listened to all the stories of Opilopi and Jip en Janneke several times during our vacation, while just sitting in her own chair in front of the tent just gazing in the distance, or while fiddling with sticks during a picknick , or while watching the Man cook dinner. The headphones gave her parents some hours of uninterrupted reading or talking as well.

Daughter with her new headphones
Being able to move around freely while listening to Opilopi stories

I have tried using cordless headphones way back, but the technology wasn’t fully developed. Connecting to my phone or computer often failed or the signal got interrupted and sound quality was poor. So I gave up on them and have used multiple wired headphones since then, including my loved noise cancelling headset from Bose (the in-ear ones). I was therefore taken by surprise how good Daughters new headphones were. Connection just worked without interruption and sound quality was excellent.

When we returned home I lent Daughter’s headphones while working from home and had a very pleasant day of uninterrupted listening to my favorite writing playlist while I was typing in the garden, making tea, wandering around the garden for inspiration. And all this without imposing my musical taste on my neighbors who were also enjoying a quiet morning in their garden.

I knew I couldn’t keep lending Daughter’s headphones. It was all fine as long she was in kindergarten during the day, but that counts only for three of my working days. The others days I’m bound to get into a fight over them since she will want to wear them as soon as I put them on. Rightfully so, because they’re hers. So this week I gifted myself cordless headphones as well.

So here I am, writing this while listening to Jamie Cullum on my new pair of headphones which sound excellent, without the need to put them down when I grab a new cup of tea (or coffee when I publish this post).

And today, for the first time in my life, I enjoyed listening to Jamie in high fidelity sound quality while going to the washroom, an unexpected perk of going cordless.

By |2019-08-02T10:59:58+02:002 augustus 2019|flow|3 Comments