I am a music lover. I always have music playing and I’m always singing along. Once I had kids, I had to rethink some of my song choices. For both the inappropriate language and the inappropriate context. I struggle because there are some good beats out there, but can I really support a song that is asking women to “Move, B***”?! Or extolling the benefits of “Big Pimpin’”?
I grew up in a time when you couldn’t even say, “I want your s-e-x” on the radio, and your options were limited because you had to buy an entire tape or CD – and they were expensive! So there were no clean or dirty versions of songs to sort through. Now we mostly listen to the radio, but there are a lot of edits happening which I didn’t realize until my kids started playing music on demand and I hear little innocents like Ariana Grande’s potty mouth and current radio darling Halsey telling us to “and if they laugh then f*** em all”. Oh, my delicate heart! (But also, f**** yeah! until my 7 year old sings it.)
As our kids get older I absolutely want them to choose their own music, but how much restriction to we put on them? I was driving a bunch of Grade 6’s to a field trip and had one of them reciting the words over the blanked out lyrics on my kid-friendly playlist. Well, that was my first clue that other parents might be letting their kids listen to the “full” version of those songs. Media is so accessible these days, it’s completely hard to manage our kids’ access. There are blockers and firewalls for words and websites and I can set their Netflix level to “kids only”, but what happens when they come across a song that talks about “poppin’ pills and pimpin’”? And like everything else, ALLLL their friends are listening to it.
I’m at a lucky point, where my sons like EDM, that’s short for Electronic Dance Music or as us 90’s kids know it, House music. (So you might not call me lucky, after all. Barf.) My daughter is really into showtunes, which is one of the last genres not to embrace letting it all hang out.
Don’t get me wrong – I definitely at times have used curse words around my kids (a topic for another blog), so it’s not like hearing a swear word is going to shatter their innocence. And when it comes to music, I don’t know where you start with banning an artist, a group, a song, when there are songs and innuendo in all popular music these days. It’s a good time to open the conversation about all media and how what we consume really defines who we are. Even if they have some “sick beats”. (PS. That’s a good thing, apparently.)