This month, the Plugged-in Parent takes on a huge problem for
parents with music-loving kids: Downloading and exposure to
Q My son downloaded an explicit song onto his iPod. How
can I get rid of it and prevent him from doing it
A Collecting and listening to downloaded music
is a big part of kids' lives today. iTunes has a corner on the
market when it comes to supplying the songs, reaching its 10
billionth song download last February. (The song? "Guess Things
Happen That Way" by Johnny Cash.)
Music appreciation is easy for parents to support. It can get a
bit more complicated when it comes to the profane lyrics accessible
to kids. Many parents find themselves managing their child's
exposure to explicit content on some level.
You can delete a song from your child's iPod in a few ways.
First, go to their iTunes library and select the song you want to
delete. Then simply press the delete key on your computer or choose
"Delete" from the "Edit" tab located along the top menu on your
screen. Finally, sync your child's iPod with the library and the
song will be deleted from his iPod.
You can also delete the song from your child's iPod without
deleting it from the iTunes library. This comes in handy in homes
sharing a library with family members of various ages and maturity
To do this, connect your child's iPod to the computer using a
USB port. Then, find your child's iPod under the "Devices" menu on
the left side of the screen. Under his device, you'll see a
selection of categories. Choose the "Music" category, select the
song you want to delete and press your computer's "Delete" key.
Remember to apply changes and sync the device before you disconnect
Of course, deleting an offensive song is just part of the
process, so follow up with these simple steps.
1 Talk about the content. Explain your
objection to the content and why it's marked explicit. Recognize
that many children don't understand the context of the songs they
listen to-younger children may not even know the words. Not sure of
the words yourself? Songlyrics.com and Lyrics.com can help you
better understand the content together.
2 Find substitutes. Many songs offer a "clean"
version, where explicit lyrics have been replaced or deleted. Songs
that have been cleaned up are marked in iTunes with a "clean"
3 Explore parental tools. These can be handy,
depending on your child's maturity level. There is a Parental
Control feature in iTunes under "Preferences" that can be set to
block explicit songs and set rating restrictions on TV and movie
Restrictions can also be set on an iTouch or iPhone. You can
find these options by choosing "Settings" on the device, then
"General" and finally "Restrictions." You need to provide a
four-digit pass code before choosing which restrictions you want to
One last note: iTunes has a policy about publishing profanity in
music titles, so your child will not see explicit words spelled out
by just browsing the iTunes store.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
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