In Your Child's Ears
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEARD?
In these technological times, the face of parenting seems to change all the time. Of course, it has been in our face that the possibility of our child being bullied on line or even stalked by a predator is possible. I am the first to admit that I fall into the category of “dragging my feet” when it comes to being internet savvy. We must be diligent to understand our children’s use of the internet, as they are getting bombarded all the time by challenges.
I know this too well, as one of my children had been downloading songs to his IPOD Shuffle after receiving I-tunes gift cards for Christmas. I asked to look at the list of recently chosen songs, one by an artist called Soulja Boy (perhaps you’ve been doing the dance in the privacy of your bedroom?) and another by Maroon Five. I was less familiar with the first, so my son and I googled the lyrics. Before you know it, I was asking him if he knew the meaning behind the lyrics, which varied from general expletives to just degrading, awful terms used for women amongst references to sex.
On to Maroon Five… a group that I believe I have caught myself singing the lyrics to “And She Will Be Loved” in an elevator somewhere. Together we entered “Makes Me Wonder” Maroon 5 lyrics into the google search engine. Hello line 3. Not something I want to hear my child singing in the shower.
Parents, don’t get me wrong. I love our country and our ability to have freedom of speech and expression (after all, I am from the generation of Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” and the Beatles, “why don’t we do it in the road”). However, I find it my obligation as a parent to openly oppose the watering down of filthy language, degrading women and demoralizing sexuality.
One difference between my childhood of listening to questionable lyrics and today is most of us didn’t have earplugs/earphones/ear buds. I remember too well the year when I was home from college break. I was exercising my adulthood in my parent’s basement by cranking Jimmy Buffet’s “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?”. Dad opened the basement door and shouted, “Turn that crap OFF!” And Dad was my more liberal parent!
As far as the IPOD experience with my son, I was grateful to have the opportunity to say to my him, “This is not your fault. As your parent, it is MY RESPONSIBILITY to know what you are doing, who you are with, and how you are spending your time. I completely take responsibility that I did not further investigate the songs you had asked to download. MY JOB.” Now, I say to my children, it is YOUR JOB to uphold our standards. When I am not looking, I expect you to respect our rules. Our rule is that we do not expose ourselves to filth and disrespect through music or other vehicles of entertainment (ie: video games, movies, television).
What you allow your children to do and see of course is your personal choice. But make it a choice, not an oversight. I just wanted to be certain that you know what is lurking around those innocent ears. You might want to check out the lyrics of the songs your child is listening to and have a discussion yourself.
~Karen Lundy, LCPC
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