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When kids are the subject,
time should be the watchword

Dear Coach:

No matter how nice I am, or how much I try to get them to warm up to me, children get stiff and shy when I interview them for stories. How can I get children to give me more than a shrug or a nod? -- Tired of the Cold Shoulder

Dear Cold:

The best stories I’ve seen about kids have come about when reporters take the time to blend into the background, to watch and listen as the kids do whatever it is they are doing, naturally, unselfconsciously.

Key here is taking the time. What if you just don’t have the time? Then it’s probably better if you don’t hold the page open for that one riveting quote from your local 10-year-old. It very well might not happen.

Important note: Remember to always get a parent’s (or school’s) permission before talking to a child.

About the column
Ask the Coach is updated regularly. Have a suggestion for a future column, contact Mary Ann Hogan.

Read Mary Ann Hogan's biography.

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Last updated: Monday, April 21, 2014 | 10:41:41