Ever listened to the music your kids sing along to?
I remember being a kid and innocently sang along to songs that go ‘ Oh puff and pass’, or with lyrics that say ‘Legalize it’ but I never really knew what I was singing about until I got a little bit older.
As I grew into a teenager, I got to learn that ‘Oh puff and pass’ actually meant to smoke and pass on whatever was being smoked, while ‘Legalize it’ intended to push the agenda of cannabis being legalized.
Nowadays I sometimes hear children singing along to a song with the most explicit sexual lyrics and I wonder if they understand what they are actually singing.
However, one thing one should always have in the back of the mind as a parent or guardian is that music plays a very important role in the socialization of children and adolescents.
Music is omnipresent and is easily available through radio, recordings, the Internet, and new technologies, allowing children and adolescents to hear it in diverse settings and situations, alone or with friends.
Sometimes, if not most of the time, parents are quite unaware of the content and lyrics their children are exposed to, since there is an increased use of downloaded music and headphones.
Research that has explored the effects of popular music on school performance, social interaction, mood and behaviour of teens will back me up here.
Honestly, the effect that popular music has on children’s and adolescent behaviour and emotions is of paramount concern. Even though sometimes we enjoy showing off our kids singing along to our favourite musician’s songs on social media, lyrics have undeniably become more explicit in their references to drugs, sex, and violence over the years – and in most genres.
I strongly believe that preference for certain types of music could be correlated or associated with certain behaviours of some children. Sometimes you meet a child who knows literally every word or song playing wherever you go but when it comes to schoolwork that child seems to know nothing, could it be that her/his attention is too divided?
There is no problem with letting kids listen to music, but parents must know what exactly they are listening to or watching because today’s kids are advanced in so many ways.
Even the visuals in some music videos are highly explicit and not suitable for children as they sometimes expose them to violence, sexual messages and harmful stereotypes, and the use of substances of abuse in music videos might produce significant changes in behaviours and attitudes of young viewers.
The point is we should stop exposing kids to expensive phones and social media platforms, it looks cool but it’s not.