From the article: Are Your Kids Cursing? Here's How to Stop It
Preteens love their music, and music appreciation is something parents should encourage. But have you ever gasped when listening to pop music with your child? Explicit lyrics are the norm, so how do you handle it when your child's musical choices push the envelope on good taste? What's your solution to tweens and explicit lyrics? Share Your Advice
Ease Up A Little!
- I was raised in a rabbinical family, so my parents were very strict about all kinds of things, music being a big one. As a kid, I was allowed to listen to the classics, a lot of them without much obscenity, but the most obscene band I was listening to in my childhood was Queen (which only my grandmother objected to after hearing the first few minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody). But into 8th grade, I was forced to buy my CD's from Walmart. I remember my friends listening to some more obscene rock bands and rap artists and they would talk about them and I would feel left out and dejected. So by the end of 8th grade, I was downloading my own music without supervision, and by 9th grade, my parents didn't care. That being said, I believe by 6th grade, kids can probably listen to almost everything. But some things I listen to, I wouldn't dare let a 12-year-old listen to; let's save ICP for high school, OK? So FYI, Bible-thumping doesn't help either.
- —Guest Anonymous
- I'm a 12 year old girl and I go to a Catholic school and my parents don't care about what I listen to as long as its not a bunch of people cussing the entire song. For instance Kesha "Die Young" or Flo Rida "Whistle" or my fave song Skylar Grey "C'mon Let Me Ride" will come on and my dad won't care cuz he thinks I'm too "immature" to understand the meaning of the songs.(I'm pretty mature) (I'm not a brat) As long as kids don't start to listen to music where people cuss the entire time they're gonna turn out fine!
- —Guest PB
- Music is fine, it's up to the listener to learn what's right and wrong.
- —Guest Teen
They're gonna hear it anyway...What!?
- That really is no reason to present them with the luxury of listening to it or watching it in the comfort of their homes. What they do behind your back defines them what they do in your home defines you. Kids learn by example and it's the parents job to teach them properly so when they are out and about, they will, hopefully, make the right choices and pick the right friends. Some may stray for whatever reason but if they respect you enough they will always remember what you taught them. Let them fight the with their consciences, that's how we grow. Don't make it easy for them. Kids don't need soft, coddling parents. They need a rock to lean on and an alternative to the ugly side of life to fall back on if they "choose" accept it. The hope of a child lies in the parent.
- —Guest Jeff B
Be Real Here pt. 2
- Parents today who say things like It's ok as long as they don't say or act out what they hear or see are either lazy as a parent, immoral themselves, or just don't care about the future of their children. If it's bad enough to have to instruct them not to do it why allow their ears to the crap in at all. Last I checked kids from age 0 to 110 learn and grow through hearing and seeing and more often than not, what we grow to accept and enjoy has a way of defining us. Let's stop kidding ourselves and making things ok just because it's a new day.
- —Guest Jeff B
Be Real Here
- Those who say music is just an artist expressing himself or herself and does not influence youth is living under a rock somewhere. Same with television from cartoons of today and up ladder to motion pictures. Children listening to music that is presented in street style lingo, referring to guns, booty, drugs or anything else that might be offensive or dangerous in real life should not be passing through the ears of the youth, or adults for that matter. Parent's have a short time to get their children ready for the real world. Why waste it on allowing them to take in what has no positive effect on life at all? Is there really something so wrong with Godly morals whether you believe in God or not? How so you explain the children talking with the street gangster accent and lingo? It's from the friends they hang with and the music they listen to. A lot of parents say it's ok and long as they don't use the language or enact the deeds, and what child would (around the parents)?
- —Guest Jeff B
Yes, I do
- My kids are listening to juicy j and drake and all sorts of things now. They listen to hip hop, rap, country, classical, jazz, rock, I don't care about it they can say bad language exept ni*** and other mean words they don't often say.
- —Guest ugongo
- It is disconcerting that the industry allows so much inappropriate language and disturbing contents and that the audience/market buys it. That being said, it is impossible to prevent a tween/teen from hearing it and singing it. We try to discuss that certain words are inappropriate and substitute for more kosher words, but I have no doubt that when they are alone, the kids use the original versions.
- —Guest Barbara
A teen point of view
- I'm a teen who listens to almost all types of music. Most of what I hear have explicit lyrics and they are loud and clear for all to hear. Now my parents never said anything about these types of music because I've learned that these words are not to.be used around adults. Or any other human being. I have occasionally let them out (but hey who doesn't)
- —Guest teen
Let the kids listen to the words
- I'm an only parent with a 7th grader. I grew up listening to KISS, Guns N' Roses, and Motley Crue for all my life. All the bands with sex or language I was there. My 13yr. old son likes the new and old rock like me. We listen to Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, the Offspring, Seether, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and all other bands. Bands with heavy language and sex. We are Christian and have a strong faith which I think helps, but it's not the only thing. I have never told my son not to curse but yet he never has. I probably can't find one song with no curse words on his I-Pod. His best friend (atheist) is constantly told not to curse, and is not allowed to listen to anything with curse words not even h**l, but is constantly busted for cursing. "Sometimes I use profainity to get my message out stronger, but don't encourage cursing"-Marilyn Manson. All profainity is used in songs for a reason and all songs have meanings some meanings aren't clear but others are just let the kids listen to the songs
- —Guest Tony H.
Beware not only of language but CONTENT!
- There's a very large percent of music which contains lyrics that simply describes shameless thoughts and behavior. Many song lyrics encourage people to forget about their moral standards and just "do what thou wilth". If you don't mind that your children will be likely explore sex before finding love, try a little bit of drugs and alcohol to have the kind of carefree, high-life like the music artists, or act out with thrilling, risky behavior which starts out with merely leaving the house once the parents are sleeping, then go ahead and let them listen to it, (as long as they don't repeat the profane language they hear). Ask yourself, if you are God-fearing, if the song lyrics will create thoughts in your beloved child which will bring them to Heaven or Hell? God hears all thoughts, and knows your heart's intentions and this world is at test of your will to please your creator. We don't know when our children will die or if they'll have the time to repent for their sinful thoughts
- —Guest Monica
Establish Rules with Explicit Language
- I allow my kids to listen to explicit music, however, I have made it clear to them that the language in some of those songs is not appropriate for everyday use. I had listened to inappropriate music behind my parents back and I don't want them to do what I did as a kid so I found an alternate solution.
- —Guest Mary
Probably they heard it from me first
- I admit that I have never sanitized the music I listened to for curse words. I would, however, sanitize it for content but only if I thought it would really be comprehended. For instance I would always skip over the Kinks "Father Christmas" for preschoolers, but not something with sexual innuendo at that age. I think it's OK to be exposed to the occasional bad word. And it cracked me up how kids would sing along and skip that word. Kids know.
- —Guest LAMB
It Depends on the Child
- I think it depends on the preteen. For some, the explicit lyrics are completely over their heads and it's possible to look the other way while still appreciating the innocence that still remains in that child. For preteens...well, if they do know the meaning of what they are singing then, perhaps, the parent should have a little chat with them about it.
- —Guest GuestMom
Boundaries, Discussions, and Some Limits
- For songs that are pretty tame except for one or two bad words sprinkled in, I let them know that if they actually use these words "in real life", I can't let them listen to the song anymore. That generally keeps their language clean. For suggestive songs, if they don't know what something means, I may give a clinical definition with a discussion, and we come out ahead there, too. Songs that are hateful or degrading are generally not allowed on the iPod. There's plenty of better music available. This system has worked for us so far.
- —Guest Elizabeth
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