Audio Drama Discipline
These days it seems many Christian kids are seriously into their audio dramas. Yesterday, I even heard of a mom who punished her son by not letting him listen to his favorite show…. about missionaries! When she took away his CD, she said he wailed like he’d lost an arm!
Recently, I had an interesting exchange with one of our daughters.
Me: “So…. what’s your favorite movie?”
Michaela: “Jane Eyre……”
“How many times have you watched it?”
“Probably twenty times”
“And what’s your favorite audio drama?”
“The Secret Garden” (Focus on the Family Radio Theatre)
“How many times have you listened to that?” (She hedged here with an embarrassed little smile)
“I don’t know…..”
Just give me a rough estimate…”
“At least….. two hundred times….”
Two Hundred???? And Michaela is a visual learner. If I had asked Ashley, our auditory learner, I’m sure the point spread would have been even greater. So what gives? Why twenty views versus two hundred listens? It’s an interesting question. I’m certainly no expert, but as a forty five year old dad with ten kids, I have a couple theories. A good audio drama is like a favorite song – it never grows old. And it doesn’t become dated by tacky clothes or bad hair. Sometimes it even gets better with time. We can listen to an audio drama while driving, while working, while lying in bed with the lights off. And audio dramas make us think. They force us to use our imagination and engage the theater of the mind. We become co-producers and co-creators along with the writer.
Whatever the reasons for the disparity, here’s a fact: The movie had a budget in the millions while the audio drama had a budget in the thousands, yet my daughter invested the most time in the latter. This is wonderful news! It means we can create great material that our kids love, and at a reasonable cost. More producers are coming to this conclusion, fueling a renaissance of sorts in the realm of audio drama. Adventures in Odyssey, Jonathan Park, Down Gilead Lane, Lamplighter Theater and our show Brinkman Adventures are proof positive.
Audio dramas pack a serious teaching punch while remaining hugely entertaining. As a parent and home educator, if you are not doing so already, please take advantage of this resource! And if your family has yet to discover this wonderful, imaginative world, trust me – their ears and minds and hearts are in for a real treat! And you just might discover a creative new tool for discipline!