I’ve tried to get away with cussing as long as I can because I love my filthy mouth, but I just can’t justify it anymore. My two-year-old is finally in the place where he can recognize and repeat almost everything I say. On top of that, he has an adorable-yet-embarrassing propensity for mispronouncing common toddler words so that they sound like dirty words. Examples include truck, rock, sock, block—you get the picture.
The next step in my dirty word phase-out process is going to have to be the radio. This really sucks because I love filthy music, just like I love filthy words. My very favorite songs that I love to work out to are primarily rap and hip-hop. I think we all know that most of the lyrics fall into the “would you kiss your mother with that mouth?” category.
Darn. Golly gee. It’s probably not the best idea to cut out music completely—you know, the whole baby-with-the-bathwater issue. Besides that, there is the fact that research reports that music makes kids nicer.
I don’t know about you, but I really love nice kids. Please tell me more:
The team recruited nearly 50 four-year-old girls and boys. Kids were randomly assigned to either a “music” group, where children sang and played music along with an instructor, or a “no music” group, where children listened to a story.
Findings showed that after the music-making session, children were more than 30 times more likely be helpful than those who didn’t play music. Plus the music group was six times more likely to cooperate than those who listened to the story, with the girls being even more likely to cooperate than the boys. While both boys and girls showed enhanced problem-solving skills after the music session, the effect was stronger for the boys: music-making boys were four times more likely to problem solve than the boys in the no-music group.
As a mother of boys, I am sold. As both of my children grow older and learn to fight and torment each other more efficiently, I am looking for any effective and legal way to improve their problem-solving, make them more helpful, and encourage them to be NICE.
Children’s music producer site Geeh the Band confirms what researchers have already discovered: Positive music for children is not only pleasant to listen to, it can provide behavioral benefits.
Geeh the Band founder explains, “Geeh the Band was started because I have two daughters, and I had the most difficult time finding music for them to listen to. I did not think that was necessary. There’s really no reason that it should so difficult, I thought. I did not understand why it was so difficult to find music for my school aged child to listen to that did not have sex, drugs, and other inappropriate references in it. I just did not get it. So I started Geeh the Band to fill that apparent void. The response has been tremendous. I get nice emails from mothers all the time telling me how thrilled they are that a service like ours is available for our children.”
A website like Geeh the Band is geared toward children as young as five, providing lyrics, videos, and downloadable music. This only serves to remind me how quickly children advance and how soon my sons will be asking for their own kiddie music playlist for the computer or tablet. It’s just a fact of life.
Not to wander too far down the “back in my day” road, but BACK IN MY DAY, the only dirty music I could find was radio-edited. If I wanted a new tape or CD with sexy-sexy lyrics, I had to ask my mom, and she would definitely say no. Today, kids have a wealth of complicated music available at their fingertips. While I might be fine listening to skeet-skeet-skeet lyrics, I’m not in the mood to explain that to my young sons just yet. Even though I love my personal hip-hop playlist, I still feel guilty about the fact that my sponge-like two-year-old is listening to and mimicking every song I play.
I’m on board with positive, entertaining kid-friendly music, especially if it has the potential to make my sons nicer. I’ll wait a few years before explaining “Drunk In Love” to my kids.
(Image: Panachai Cherdchucheep/Shutterstock)