We All Have Mom Guilt About Letting Our Kids Listen To Dirty, Sexy Pop Music

shutterstock_188895086I’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)

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You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • wispy

    Oh how I long for the days I could blare Godsmack and Alkaline Trio with a baby sleeping in the backseat. Not anymore! What lovely songs to sing at CHURCH PRESCHOOL!!

    • Bethany Ramos

      I love Alkaline Triooooooooooo!

    • wispy

      OMG!!! I know approx TWO people who even know who they are!!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Haha I have loved them for 7-8 years, I think. Time flies!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I LOOOOOVE Godsmack!
      I remember downloading some Lamb of God for the little 10 year old.
      If you’ve ever seen the video for Redneck…yeah that’s what happened.
      She had a religious retreat with her school and the teacher asked did anyone know any songs about god…
      10 year old hadn’t listened to the LOG songs yet…

      We got a note sent home lol

    • wispy

      haha! Godsmack was all that would put my oldest daughter to sleep when she was a baby! We were like well whatever works!

  • marisa

    I have no guilt for what music I let my daughter listen too. We will not be censoring our taste in music. We listen to a wide variety of music from pop to country to black metal. When I was growing up my parents never censored their tastes in music. I grew up loving Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bette Midler, and Billy Joel basically everything my dad listened to. When my daughter is older if she asks me to explain the lyrics of a “dirty” pop song I will explain them to her. We play a lot of black metal to our daughter and it actually puts her to sleep.

    • SunnyD847

      We never censored our music or the volume when our kids were little and they learned to sleep through anything. Now they have their own musical tastes and every car ride is a negotiation. I’ve got one who loves ABBA and one who loves Ozzy :)

  • NYCNanny

    My dad was SUPER strict when it came to what television we were allowed to watch (TLC when it was actually educational, Animal Planet when it was about animals, and PBS cause yeah) and what music we were allowed to listen to (Michael Jackson instead of rap, Aretha instead of pop, etc…). Looking back as an adult, I appreciate that…i think it helped us stay innocent just a tiny bit longer…
    That being said, I still turned I to a huge whore when I grew up so there’s that. Oh well.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    10 year old listens to everything.
    I mean, everything.
    From Justin Bieber to Tatu, Japanese movie soundtracks (she wants to learn it) to Rammstein, she even loves Dragonforce and will usually follow up her Katy Perry with some Lamb of God lol.

    Most people act horrified when they hear she listen to them.
    I just tell them if we acted like it was a big deal, she’d sneak around with it.
    This way we can stick a cd on during dinner and know she likes it.

    At least honesty is prevalent in the house.

  • NoMissCleo…JustMe

    I don’t feel guilty at all. I will make a few allowances for her favorite songs from Disney movies because I remember loving singing and dancing along to Ariel when I was little…but most of the time it’s MY car so it’s MY music.

  • Katie Scott

    I think Geeh the band seems like they know how to make music both FUN and informative. I personally wouldn’t let me children listen to provocative and “sexy” music.

  • Just A Bloke

    This is simple. Simply listen to the music to see if it’s suitable.
    If it’s got an explicit lyrics warning notice on it, don’t buy it for the little nippers.

  • Patterman

    Simple solution: learn something about classical music, both real classical music, and “classic” music, like American Musical Comedies and great pop singers of the 50′s and earlier. You will find an infinite number of hours of music both to play for your kids, and to get to know yourself. I guarantee it will be good for both of you. Problem solved.

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