Do you censor your kids music? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 13 yo. dd is drawn to the pop, dance, rap, hip-hop kind of music, so much of which has parental advisory for it's messages/language. The radio edits are pushing it, and she wants to get the uncensored CD's from the library to listen to at home. I object a bit to the harsher language, but mostly to the messages they give about women/drinking/drugs, and especially at the early teen age she's at. I hate to be "that" mom that limits things like music, but I can't pretend to be ok with some of it (the current example is Flo Rida "Roots" she wants). Ugh.... Any advice or perspective here would be great.

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#2 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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We don't censor music. But we do talk about it. In all honesty, my experience has been that listening to questionable music doesn't lead to certain behaviours or ideas. At least not when it's only a small portion of where a child is learning things. Unless you plan on leaving your 13 year old to raise herself, chances are the music won't have any ill effects on her.

Also, it could help if you do some research for her to find songs in that style that you don't find objectionable.

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#3 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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How do you feel about Christian music? There are bands that have the hip-hop/pop/heavy metal/etc sound to them without the nasty messages you're trying to avoid. It's an idea at least...

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#4 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I find that open conversation is really important because there is very little way to completely censor musoc. You might not allow something in your home, but kids listen to the radio, listen to each other's ipods....there are any number of ways they're going to hear what's out there.
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#5 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
We don't censor music. But we do talk about it. In all honesty, my experience has been that listening to questionable music doesn't lead to certain behaviours or ideas. At least not when it's only a small portion of where a child is learning things. Unless you plan on leaving your 13 year old to raise herself, chances are the music won't have any ill effects on her.

Also, it could help if you do some research for her to find songs in that style that you don't find objectionable.
What he said.

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#6 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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I agree that an open conversation about music is very important. Banning or censoring doesn't teach anything in my opinion. If you hear something objectionable, it is a great opportunity to discuss why you think it is objectionable.

One thing that DH and I strive to do is to offer a variety of music and/or types of entertainment. My parents never exposed us to a variety of music when I was growing up (although I did play classical piano). So, consequently the only music that I was exposed to was what my friends listened to or what was on popular radio. I didn't know that there was a ton of great music out there. Popular radio only plays certain music on constant rotations. My brain practically exploded when I discovered the world of music outside of top-40 radio (exploded in a good way). A great way to expose children to music is to actually see music live. Saturate them with great music and it will probably stick.

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#7 of 27 Old 10-04-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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Never have censored music in this house, and don't plan on it. Music is just a form of harmless entertainment, really. Then again, we don't have anyone in this house who listens to rap/hip-hop or popular music of any kind. DD will purposely avoid a band if its popular at all. Both kids love heavy metal, but DS likes "lighter" type music, where DD loves the really dark and heavy music with the agressive sound and lyrics. Compared to some of the songs that DD listens to, hip-hop would be tame. At least they arent singing about mutilating bodies...
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#8 of 27 Old 10-05-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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I've found that they will be exposed to the questionable lyrics, etc. whether you allow it at home or not. Isn't it better that she hear it at home - where you know she's listening to it, can listen yourself and then talk about it?

I've never censored what my kids listen to, read, etc. And they're both good kids, solidly grounded, involved in community service, etc. We went through a period of "trying on" the language, but that's passed.

What I DO find amusing is that my Mom (who didn't exactly *censor* anything, but both she and my Dad made their disapproval clear - pretty much all we listened to at home was classical) has made such a point over the years to listen to the music my son listens to. And his musical tastes are all over the place. From rap & hip-hop to classic rock to classical to some Icelandic group to Far Eastern stuff. She has listened to it all - some of it she liked more than other, sometimes she said "I like the *music*, but not the lyrics", and sometimes she said "You know... I never read the lyrics before - they're quite thought provoking!"
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#9 of 27 Old 10-05-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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We haven't needed to honestly. DD and her friends are sort of retro... big into the Beatles and classic rock. The new stuff they like is all pretty tame.

Personally, we aren't for banning music though if my kids came home with songs about rape and such, I may sit them down and ask that it not be played in our home and why I feel that way.

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#10 of 27 Old 10-05-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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DS is 12. We do not censor music. I certainly do not like everything and I let him know that. Most of the time he agrees with me about most of the songs in question.
I think if you censor music it will backfire and you will end up making it even more enticing.
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#11 of 27 Old 10-05-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I don't intend to censor what DD chooses (it hasn't really been an issue yet) for herself, but I do censor which of MY music I'm willing to play around her! It's one thing to seek out Prince's raunchier tracks or Brazilian Girls -- and quite another to have your mother play them when you're not looking for them, you know?
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#12 of 27 Old 10-06-2010, 03:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BritneyB View Post
Compared to some of the songs that DD listens to, hip-hop would be tame. At least they arent singing about mutilating bodies...
That's funny!

My dss is almost 12 and getting much more into music, but he likes a lot of what my husband listens to, which is often metal, so he listens to it too. It has some serious cursing on some songs but we ask that he not listen to that when his friends are over unless we know their parents are okay with it.

I actually have more of a problem with music that is sexual and objectifying to women than cussing. If songs are overly gross or have gratuitous cussing we would probably ask him not to listen to it.

Like the other posters we don't really sensor but share our opinions and discuss subject matter when we can.

My daughter also listens to what she wants for the most part. She loves musicals and 80's music right now, she's 6.

We listen to satellite radio all the time and it's not really censored, but we try to expose them to a variety of music. That's what I had and I loved it.

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#13 of 27 Old 10-06-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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I don't censor what dds listens to, but I censor what we download, if that makes any sense.

What they have on their iPods gets listened to over and over again, much more so than what's on the radio. Also, what gets downloaded, I pay for. I'm not paying for the misogynistic rap crap or the stuff I find entirely revolting teenage-girl-as-sex-object stuff (most Katy Perry, for example).
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#14 of 27 Old 10-06-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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I guess I semi-censor, since my oldest is 8. As she gets older and understands more of what the songs are talking about, then I feel I can release more. I listen to what she listens to, she has pretty eclectic tastes, like me, and right now her favorite artist is a Chinese folk-pop singer so I guess in that case the lyrics don't matter (I had someone check them out anyway. ;>).

Most of her friends' parents have more restrictive music rules than we do (less about content, more about style--banning Miley Cyrus, ect. While I'm glad DD is moving away from teenypop, given that we don't have cable and my kids aren't exposed to the rest of the media around her maybe I just didn't find it overwhelming, dunno.). So we talk about that too--how there is music that I don't mind playing in the car, ect, but we need to respect other people's wishes for what their kids listen to.

If I can't talk to DD in a way that she can understand about why the lyrics might make some people uncomfortable or why they make me uncomfortable, I don't allow that particular song. I don't ban whole artists though. I'm sure we'll have other conversations about artists once DD is paying attention to celebrity lives (if she does), but right now she is oblivious to it.
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#15 of 27 Old 10-06-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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We don't censor music. We do discussit because we each like things others don't. We each have a preset in my car for example and we rotate. I do however, have them think about who they are sharing or listening around. Would that person find the lyrics objectionable or the pitch too high. It's like language. For whatever reason my dd has quite colorful language that her brothers don't share. As I am hoping it will
pass we have talked about the fact I don't mind it, she can talk like that around her friends but she should watch her mouth around younger children, parents, grandparents, etc.
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#16 of 27 Old 10-06-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
We don't censor music. But we do talk about it.
Yup. Same with books.

If I find something truly offensive or tasteless, there will be a conversation, for sure. Why I find it offensive, why others may find it offensive, why do you like it, etc.

If it's too much for me (I've never had this situation, but I suppose it could happen) the only censorship I would impose is that they listen to it on their ipods, so that no one else has to listen to it. I mean, it's only fair, since that's how they request I listen to my 80s music
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#17 of 27 Old 10-07-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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My six year old daughter, having grade-skipped, is in class with many children who have already turned eight. She has found her way to the Katy Perry, etc. pop songs and has even received CDs from birthday parties with references to sex and drug use. I have chosen not to sensor at all, despite her young age...and we have had many conversations about the music. She is quick to say, "I don't even understand the words. I just like the sound of the music," or "I don't even get what this song means, and I don't care." She has asked a few questions here and there about specific lyrics, and once when I explained some part of a song, she said, "Why do you let me listen to this stuff?" That remark alone launched us into a great discussion!
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#18 of 27 Old 10-07-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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We don't censor music. But we do talk about it.
ditto
However, I don't leave the radio on several stations due to misogynistic and annoying disc jockeys. Dd's never asked to listen to those stations though, so it is a non-issue. I'm very happy that she listens and enjoys a wide range of music from classical to celtic to popular stuff. When she heard the uncut lyrics to the Lily Allen song, 'The Fear', her first response was - nice alliteration! LOL
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#19 of 27 Old 10-08-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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No censorship here. Wouldn't really work considering my musical tastes and I don't think that the majority of children are harmed by listening to music that pushes the bounds. I do reserve the right to turn off stuff once it is making me want to slay myself (lately that would be Keyshia or whoever that drunk party girl singer is) but that is more of a taste, repetition thing.
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#20 of 27 Old 10-08-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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No. Like Poppymama said, considering my own musical tastes, it wouldn't work. My 11 year old lives half the week with me, her stepdad, and downstairs she has my sister and her husband. At her dad's house, the other half of the week, she has her dad and her stepmom. Excluding her step parents, all the adults she spends time with have all worked in the music industry 15-20 years. There are a huge variety of tastes, she has a library of over 3000 cds to choose from, and she is careful enough to ask me if something is "appropriate." My answer is, if it's making you uncomfortable, turn it off, think about why. We talk about music and why certain things are "offensive" and maybe shouldn't be shared with classmates. Her tastes run from Pink Floyd to The Killers to David Bowie. She doesn't like rap much, which is probably a good thing considering most of ours is old NWA and the like. She doesn't understand why her dad and I love Slayer, and I don't understand her infatuation with Brandon Flowers. But it all works out.
DD has never been into any of the teeny-bopper bubblegum pop stuff - hated Miley Cyrus and her ilk - but I wouldn't have "banned" it if she had liked it (though I would've insisted on headphones).

On the other hand, my 5 year old sings along to Rammstein (in German), Talking Heads, DEVO, and Lady Gaga. He also loves Miranda Cosgrove, but you can't win 'em all.

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#21 of 27 Old 10-08-2010, 08:15 PM
 
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I don't censor at all.We'll talk about the lyrics is dd wants(ds isn't into music yet).A lot of my music has lyrics some may find offensive,and they've been exposed since birth so I don't worry about it.I don't like a lot of dd's music,but like others have said that's what her ipod is for.

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#22 of 27 Old 10-08-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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No, we don't censor. However, dp and I both really dig analyzing and discussing pop culture, sociology, kyriarchy and the like so we do have a lot of family discussions about music (and other media). That said, the kids haven't shown a lot of interest in media that I find so problematic that it crosses the line to where I would not want to be exposed to it myself or have any of our family money go to support. Guess I'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.

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#23 of 27 Old 10-10-2010, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess my dilemma is I don't want to censor (well part of me does because I can't stand the objectifying women type stuff), but when it comes to the 13yo dd listening to cd's that have an advisory sticker, and I also have a 9 year old who is easily offended, I'm not sure how to handle it. To have her tell her sister to stay out of her room because she's listening to music with swearing/sex/drug references seems like a recipe for disaster .

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#24 of 27 Old 10-10-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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Actually, I think having her warn her sibling that she's going to listen to something that might be offensive so that she can leave the room sounds like a great solution. Isn't that the option adults have? Not listening to things we don't wish to hear while not getting in the way of other people's freedoms?
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#25 of 27 Old 10-10-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauriem33 View Post
I guess my dilemma is I don't want to censor (well part of me does because I can't stand the objectifying women type stuff), but when it comes to the 13yo dd listening to cd's that have an advisory sticker, and I also have a 9 year old who is easily offended, I'm not sure how to handle it. To have her tell her sister to stay out of her room because she's listening to music with swearing/sex/drug references seems like a recipe for disaster .
Can you get her an MP3 player? I've seen them for as little as $15. Then when she wants to listen to music that the 9 yr old doesn't like, she can do so w/o annoying her sister.

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#26 of 27 Old 10-10-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I don't have a teen. So take this with a grain of salt.

I don't censor even for my small children. I do occasionally listen to the rap / r&b (generally quite ok) / hip-hop radio stations. I listen to all kinds of rock.

I would agree with MD on this one. For small children, I give a glossed-over explanation. For older children, I'd have a talk.

If there was another child involved, I personally think that adults who want to listen to something that offends another person should leave the room, rather than vice-versa. But that's a very cultural thing and so long as it's universal and fair, I don't think it matters, provided the other child has the chance to leave.

We all love Lady Gaga and whenever DD1 asks what she's talking about, I say, "Love." A half-truth at best but it seems to work. LOL!

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#27 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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We don't censor our kids' music either. But we do expect them not to intrude into each other's space with it so they have to use their ipod if somebody else doesn't want to listen.
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