2010-03-25 / Community
‘Teen Trends’ spreads positive message to kids
When David Cohen was young, he didn’t get his thrills from playgrounds or amusement parks. His most exciting days were spent hanging with his radio personality mom in the studio, listening as her voice emitted over the airwaves.
“I’d sit down and my mom would say, ‘Okay, time to be quiet,’” Dave said. “I was always interested in radio, even as a little kid.”
Now 17 years old, Dave is at the helm of his own show, “Teen Trends with Dave and Friends,” which goes out live once a week from LA Talk Radio studios in Sherman Oaks, the same station from which Dave’s mom, psychologist Michelle Roth, hosts her show.
Last year, Roth devoted one program to teen issues and invited her son on the air. Ratings went through the roof, and before long the station’s owner was offering Dave, a Calabasas High senior, the opportunity of his dreams.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Dave said. “I was like, ‘Really, me? Am I that special?’ I was completely nervous. I just kept thinking, ‘I’m only 16. What do I know?’”
But Dave said that after a couple of nerve-racking shows, his perception changed.
“I started looking at it as an opportunity to benefit the people who listen,” he said. “I really dug into myself, rid myself of any ego, and focused on that.”
Dave and his co-hosts have tackled issues such as depression, relationships, substance abuse, love versus lust, school pressure, parent troubles, and financial and career planning.
Dave has about 15 “friends” who show up occasionally, but there’s a smaller group of five or six regular co-hosts, including 17-year-old Kevin Scaringi, a fellow senior at CHS, and 15year-old Aiden Jacobsen, who attends Ojai Valley School.
The three are best friends, and on last Sunday’s program they talked about the relationships between parents and their children.
“There are so many ways of viewing life, especially as a teen,” Dave told his parent listeners. “It’s part of human life— we’re growing, blossoming. We definitely aren’t adults yet. We don’t think like you guys.”
“At this point, parents have been parenting their children throughout their whole childhood, I hope,” he said. “At this age, we are capable of being independent. Give them a path and let them walk it. If they veer off the path, blaze some of their own, let them do that.”
One listener sent an e-mail to the show saying her dad was constantly lecturing her about his life as a teenager—no cellphones, computers or texting during family meals.
The boys maintained balanced responses.
“Parents: Don’t pull out the history lessons. It doesn’t help you relate to your teen,” said Kevin. But he encouraged the listener to consider her dad’s message. “A cellphone at the dinner table may be pushing it a little.”
In addition to offering their perspectives and advice, the boys also try to encourage a positive outlook.
“We believe that you control every aspect of your life,” Dave said. “Whether it’s terrible or wonderful, you control the way you see it. If you put out good thoughts and good energy and are a good person, good things will come to you.”
Dave and Kevin will attend Moorpark College in the fall and hope to go to a four-year university with Aiden when he graduates. They hope to continue the show, now in its ninth month, for at least the next two years.
Dave freestyle raps with some of his classmates in a band called Mango and the Train, where he also tries to spread his positive attitude.
“Making life as positive as you can will create a chain reaction and affect other people in a positive way,” Dave said. “People find excuses not to be happy. There are positive influences everywhere. And if there isn’t—create it.”
LA Talk Radio offers more than 70 shows on two Internet radio stations. For more information or to tune in live, visit www.latalkradio.com.