Popping the Tunes (and turning some off)
Listening to music with your kid can be really fun- when you're doing it right
My views on pop music are immaterial nowadays as, very often, the soundtrack to evenings spent cuddled up with my kid and a YouTube playlist is being constructed with her suggestions, rather than my own.
We've always been big fans of whipping up a dancing storm whenever we liked to and the likes of many a pop tune have made regular appearances on our dance cards.
But, as she’s grown older and become more independent in choosing her tunes, I've found the tables are turning. She’s discovering more and more music on her own and I am doing my best to keep up and keep an eye on it. I mean, with the likes of Nicki Minaj’s buttbouncing ways seemingly dominating airwaves nowadays, there’s just some music and video content I'm not cool with a nine year old having access to.
But in a world that grants us such easy access to content, whether its appropriate or not, how do parents keep up with pop music and draw the line at what their kids watch or listen to?
There’s a few ways I could suggest but none of them quite match up to the simple (yet feels bloody difficult because it needs us to use the one element we all want more of – time) way of getting involved in what they’re watching or listening to. Yes, I'm telling parents to pay attention.
When you’re in the car listening to the radio and you hear that new catchy new tune that talks about humping, turn it off.
For some reason, younger kids particularly find it very easy to quickly learn the – sometimes rather distasteful – lyrics to the latest song about sex.
When your kid is on YouTube, searching for that song they like? Be on it too. In fact, don’t just hand your kid a phone or tablet and hope it distracts them for a bit – do the searches with them. And, if you can, keep up to date with what’s being released and what’s out there right now. You might even discover a song or two that you like too – that’s what happened with Taylor Swift and I. I was firmly not a fan of hers at all, and then ‘’shake it off” was released and I quickly became a Swifter.
If your kid enjoys a song and you deem the lyrics palatable but the video isn't – that’s where YouTube fan videos will be your friend. Very often, the more popular songs are released with a ‘lyric video’ first, or have videos created by fans with the song as an audio track, laid over images of the artist. Bam, find one and you've solved the video content problem.
Or, if you do prefer to leave kids to their own devices, literally, then utilize the content filter settings to your advantage. Yes, you can set content filters on just about everything – learn to use them!
And, of course, there’s nothing better than a good old chinwag. My kid’s become quite a fan of silly parody videos and, very often, there are cultural references made within them that, taken out of context, can seem a bit amiss. When appropriate, we’ll check those out together and I’ll explain the cultural nuances that are included, often adding to the giggles.
Lastly, as the world moves slowly away from listening to the morning radio and more towards audio streaming services, we’re even more able to claim our parental power back. Streaming services are great, in my view, because we’re not easily subjected to a radio playlist that could contain something we’d prefer our young kids not to listen to. Instead, we get to choose the tunes and, heck, isn't that what we really want, after all?
Do you listen to music with your kids?