With music that’s safe for little ears, and dealing with burning issues such as cyber-bullying, Pearl FM is fast becoming the go-to radio station for mums and kids at home, on the school run and on family car trips. Dubai-born Indian expat Annah, 33, who presents Hits and Homework daily from 4pm to 7pm on 102FM, introduced a Thursday chat show from 6pm to 7pm with young in-studio and call-in guests called Kids Talk. She found very quickly that children have an opinion on everything! We spoke to her about the show and how you can get your little ones involved…
Why do children need their own radio station? Kids have a unique lifestyle that is so different from grown-ups’, but requires just as much understanding, nurture and support from the community. They have a distinct world of interests and real issues that are often overlooked by adults. Pearl offers support to parents and schools in nurturing kids and aiding their development and social skills.
What is the main difference between DJing on a standard radio station and on a kids/family station? Knowing that I have a young impressionable audience listening to me has made me extra conscientious of what I say on air. I steer clear of scandalous gossip related to celebs and only promote wholesome stories and events, and news that is both informative and entertaining.
What has the response been? Encouraging! Kids love that they have now have a voice through Pearl FM and parents are immensely grateful they no longer have to worry about the content or lyrics of a song that may have a less than positive influence on their young children.
What criteria do you use for choosing artists and songs for Pearl? Pearl FM plays music that is safe for little ears. Which means you’ll still get to hear current popular hits provided they are wholesome, along with Disney’s classics and new music from its channel stars. We also focus on up-and-coming singers, especially YouTube and Vine stars who have young fans.
Which topics get the strongest response from kids? Kids have an opinion on everything! In the past, we’ve had some of the best discussions when chatting about bullying, a misunderstood relationship with video games, an apparent obsession with junk food, and so much more. They always have incredible insights, no matter what we talk about!
Which topics get the strongest response from parents? I don’t often hear from parents about the choice of topic on Kids Talk. They’re just immensely proud to hear their child speaking confidently while live on air, offering insights (which sometimes take them aback too!) and opinions that are the child’s own. At the end of every Kids Talk, all I can see are beaming parents and children.
What are the stand-out things you have learnt about parenting and children since working on Pearl? Children don’t like being spoken down to. They are young adults who need reasoning and logic just as much as grown-ups do. Telling them to do something just because a grown-up says so makes less of an impact than explaining why.
What interesting topics do you have coming up and how can parents get their children on the show? Although we’ve touched upon it, cyber bullying and internet safety is something I would like to elaborate on next. Also, sources of stress – school years can be the most stressful period in a child’s life and I would love to break down what these sources are so parents can be just as informed.
Parents keen to have their child participate in Kids Talk can email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about their child – his or her age, interests, talents, etc. Pearl FM will get in touch to book them in for a studio
How else can parents and kids connect with the station? Pearl FM will launch its website in the near future but in the meantime, parents and children can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on @PearlFMUAE. Our studio line is 04 338 2121. We make it a point to visit a new school or nursery as often as possible so we can also feature them on Pearl’s breakfast show for School of the Week.