How many times have you been driving with kids in the back seat, listening to a song you have heard 100 times or more, only to be struck by the true meaning of the song? Maybe it’s a great song, with a strong message that you want your kids to hear. Or maybe it’s a song with a more mature message than you are comfortable with, and you have never really listened to it until now, and you are shocked to hear that your kids know all the words without fully understanding what they are singing about. There is an easy way to avoid this upsetting realization that the radio DJ’s do not always have your children’s best interests in mind.
Play your own music.
You do not have to subject yourself to juvenile nursery rhymes to ensure that your children are listening to appropriate music. Nursery rhymes are great, don’t get me wrong, but don’t think that there is nothing else out there for your child to listen to.
So how do you know what kind of music is best? Experts can provide tips, but at the end of the day it is up to parents to decide what they are okay with their children listening to.
The best musical library includes a variety of styles. It is never a good idea to expose children to one genre and close them off from everything else. Children should be exposed to different styles of music and music from different cultures. If you feel like it, you can even throw in a nursery rhyme or two for good measure.
If you as a parent think a song sounds good, has a good message, and is overall enjoyable to listen to, there is no harm in letting your children listen along. Growing up, one of the greatest things that our family bonded over was music. Chiquitita by ABBA wasn’t just a song with a good message, but a song sung in times of trouble. I still listen to it when I’m feeling down and I am grateful for having been exposed to it when I was so young.
So many parents cocoon their kids in a bubble of children’s music with high pitched melodies that parents themselves can’t stand to listen to. According to Eric Rasmussen of the Peabody Institute, music that is specifically geared towards children is not necessarily healthy for them. They may not understand the meaning behind some of your personal favourites, but that is where you have the opportunity to talk to them and educate them, and have some say over what messages they receive from the media. Before they can fully understand it, kids learn to love music – the sound of it, the rhythm of it, the way it makes them feel. Music is something we hear when we are young and as we grow older we take it with us, adapting it to our moods and fitting it into our personal situations. Parents have the privilege of ensuring their children grow up with music that is worthy of the person they want their child to be.
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