Why parents should pay attention to song lyrics

Posted on 5 August 2015

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The world is no longer as wholesome a place as it was when we were young. We stand by this statement at the risk of sounding old and conservative. Wholesome music is still around but it is no longer what we hear on the radio. The popular songs today have very different themes and they are not always appropriate for children.

We can't say that we do not enjoy the music that is popular today but it is very hard to enjoy it when we have our kids with us and they are singing to a song that talks mainly about materialism, sex, drugs, and violence.

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Let us be clear that we are not telling parents how they should raise their child. We are not telling parents what songs they should or should not let their child listen to. What we want to advocate is the idea that parents need to pay attention to the songs that their kids hear. On the radio, on the TV, and even on their child's personal music devices. By paying attention to the words of the song parents can get a sense of what their kids are being exposed to. This can lead to better understanding between parent and child and even a new avenue of bonding.

Understand your child more.

You may discover that your child's musical preferences are similar to yours. This means that you can share your favorite musicians with each other. If a child understands that they are able to talk freely about their music to their parents then a new avenue of great communication is opened up in the family.

If you do find that your child's favorite songs contain objectionable material you may also want to consider a few things before you start banning their song. Censoring is not the best solution and taking away a favorite song can result in a difficult time at home. It is a good idea to talk to your kids about their song choice. Give them a chance to tell you why they like the song. Talking about these things can lead to greater understanding and may even help your child open up more.

We were kids too.

Parents would also do well to revisit some of the songs that their parents let them listen to as they grew up. They might be surprised at the content of those songs too. The 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s were not always a place of clean lyrics. So parents today can say that we were among the first to be exposed to mature themes in music as we grew up. Of course, they were mostly more subtle than they are today.

We also need to avoid the bias of every generation. The idea that the past was much better and more wholesome is not always true. This idea can be argued back and forth but if we really want a better place for our children then we should just start looking at the present and see what we can do to make it better.

We hope that everyone gets to enjoy the music that they like in a positive way. We also hope that the music being created today and tomorrow continues to educate, enlighten, inspire, and encourage our children.

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