I was reading an article in Parents magazine this
week (The article is from September and I just got around to
reading it. I have four kids remember!). It basically says we do a
disservice to our children by
making the world kid-centric. I'm kind of
surprised by that response as several of the experts cited are
people I respect and follow, like Lenore Skenazy of Free Range
Kids, and generally agree with.
While I am not a helicopter parent in any way, I
do, according to this article, bend our adult world down to my
children instead of making them reach up to it. In most instances I
just can't understand why you wouldn't. They are only kids once and
for a short time. You as a parent are the main influencer in their
life for what ten years? If they live to the average age in the
U.S. of 78 that's only 12 percent of their entire life.
Take music for example. Something that is often
criticized in these articles is the explosion of children's music.
I wonder if the writers have listened to any modern music
Growing up, we listened to oldies in the car with
my parents. Songs by the likes of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
The Rolling Stones probably had the most questionable lyrics of
anything we listened to.
Turn on a pop station today and what will your kids
"Royals" - But every song's like
gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom. Blood stains,
ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room. We don't care, we're driving
Cadillacs in our dreams.
"Wrecking Ball" - All you ever did
was wreck me. Yeah, you, you wreck me. Yeah, you, you wreck
Drake - I got my eyes on you.
You're everything that I see. I want your hot love and emotion
And these are the mild lyrics. Today's music
tackles bigger issues than sock hops and the lyrics are racier and
more explicit every year. If you think your kids just hear the hook
or the beat and don't understand the lyrics, you're fooling
yourself. Last Christmas after singing "Silent Night" for the
umpteenth time in preparation for the school performance my son
blurts out to his teacher, "What's a
Trust me, they are hearing everything.
Once you open that Pandora's box there is no
shutting it. Once the adult world has been exposed there is no
going back. They will have a lifetime of music, books, TV and news
reports filled with ever present issues for them to debate, battle
and wrestle with in their minds.
For right now, for these early years, I want them
to learn those lessons slowly - from people they trust and care
about. Besides, kids music has come a long way and can
actually be helpful. One day in the not too
distance future, I won't be the one controlling the dial. But while
I am, I'm going to keep it firmly turned to happy-go-lucky catchy
tunes. They have the other 88 percent of their life to worry about
sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Right now the only worry is if we
are listening to
Peter, Paul and Mary or if the toddler gets
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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