My son, Sean, just turned 10 and is becoming as big a music fan as I’ve been since about the age of 12. Up until recently, Sean has mainly followed Dad’s musical tastes: He loves U2 and has even been to one of their concerts; he listens to Coldplay; and he’s taken a liking to some of the CDs on my shelf like Snow Patrol and Keane.
All of that is fine from a fatherly perspective because I know the music he’s listening to, and with only a couple exceptions, don’t mind his young ears hearing these lyrics.
For Christmas, he put several CDs on his list from artists that I know nothing, or almost nothing about: Nickelback, The Bravery, and even Blake Lewis (the kid from American Idol).
That’s the first sign I’m getting old: When my kids start listening to bands/artists I don’t know. A week or so ago, Sean asked me if Lupe Fiasco’s real name was Lupe Fiasco or that was a fake name? I had to confess I’d never heard of Lupe Fiasco. The shame.
Then comes the lyrics issue. Do I worry about what these singers are saying in their songs? Of course I do!
That’s the second sign I’m getting old: When I worry about what my kids are hearing in the music they listen to. Should I listen to every song first to make sure it’s acceptable?
After thinking about, I decided to go ahead and buy some of these CDs even though I don’t know the artist and don’t know what they’re singing about. Here’s why:
- It’s not realistic to think I can listen to every song my son wants to listen to before he does, and approve or disapprove it. Who has time for that?
- As he gets older, and as kids grow up faster than they did when I was young, he’s going to be exposed to a lot more in the schoolyard, at his friends’ houses, etc., and I have to accept that’s just part of growing up.
- Most importantly, he’s a Good Kid and I have to trust the job we did as parents and trust him to adjust and mature in an appropriate way as he experiences new things.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m getting old, does it? 🙂