by: John G. Simon
We listen to a very wide variety of music in this household. We have the good ‘oldies’ like 90’s skate punk and 00’s indie rock that we listen to nostalgically. Our kids hear the sounds of Jazz singers from days past and bluegrass pickers from the local radio. We really do listen to just about everything, even a little country and rap. It’s hard to decide what to not let the kids hear, but recently there have been a couple of songs from the radio that have gotten stuck in the heads of our innocent-eared kids. These songs are quite inappropriate and we try to avoid them if we can.
Here are the recent winner’s of songs we avoid but the kids decided are their favorites. Remember, these kids of ours are 3 and 5 yr olds.
#1: Flo Rida – “Whistle”
Now I know what you’re thinking, how could I even let the kids hear this song? Well, I honestly never really listened to the lyrics. The infectious whistle clouded my hearing. By the time I realized what the words were actually saying the kids had already decided they liked the song. They think it’s a funny song about a baby who can whistle. I mean, a whistling baby does sound pretty entertaining. Well, we decided they can’t listen to it any longer and they are disappointed and confused. But I am not going to have my kid singing that song in public.
#2: Bruno Mars: “Locked Out Of Heaven
This song has a bit of a different story. It’s not exactly banned, but we have to do a bit of volume “dj parent” editing when listening to it. Specifically the S-E-X word. Other than that, the song is fairly adult coded so as to not be repeatable or understandable by the kids. But still, it’s not really appropriate AT ALL. So what’s the appeal of the song for them? It’s the part where Mr. Mars goes… Ah Ah Ah, Ah, Ah Ah Ah, OO! Especially the OO part. This makes the kids laugh. So we allow it to a certain extent. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just weak parenting but it’s fun to see the kids laugh.
#3: Taylor Swift: “Never Getting Back Together”
So apparently my 3yr. old daughter is a Taylor Swift fan. This song more scares me about the future than anything else. I mean, it’s so girl teen angsty in the worst ways possible. I don’t want my daughter to relate to on and off again relationship antics like Ms. Swift. Like EVER! This one isn’t inappropriate enough to volume edit or keep off, but it still makes me uneasy.
#4: Ke$ha: Die Young
So I have mixed feelings about this song. The first time the kids realized the lyrics, they had so many questions. Like, what does dying young mean? I mean come on, that’s not exactly the discussion I wanted to have on a pleasant Tuesday morning. So we did our best and got them comfortable with the fact that mostly only old people die. But they understand that sometimes bad things happen. We reminded them about Heaven and angels and such. But now they think it would be awesome to die young so they can live with angels. But they’d miss mommy and daddy since it’s a one way trip. So they decided they’ll stay here. Whew! The draw for them to the song is the catchy dance beat. But life and death discussions with small children is draining and tricky as a parent, so this song is ‘Avoided’ but not banned.
#5: Cursive: Sink to the Beat
Ok, so this song is not banned or necessarily inappropriate. But I find it odd for this to be my 3yr old daughter’s favorite song. Maybe she’s rebelling against the other music we allow her to listen to. She calls it’ the ‘yelling song’ and we have to listen to it over and over and over. I mean, I like the song, but a child’s persistent listening can make a parent crazy even when it’s “your music”. It is impressive the words she does pick up in it though.
So what’s the moral of the story here? Maybe that modern culture and its music will corrupt your kids? Hmmm. Maybe.
I think it does bring up for me the idea of what is age appropriate or not. Some of the things in these songs we can talk about to the kids. Like death and relationships. So these cultural issues are kind of things that help to raise strong kids who know about various interpersonal situations. As for the other, actually inappropriate, stuff in the other songs, we won’t have to worry about that for a good long time. Like at least 20 years right?
Enjoy the tunes! They may not be safe for your kids ears, but they’ll probably hear them anyway.
What have you been listening to that might not be kid friendly? Or am I the only terrible parent?