How important is it really to monitor what music kids listen to?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I never forbid my children from listening to any music. I tried to keep an open conversation about inappropriate songs or songs with questionable messages. I remember that I was not allowed to listen to certain types of music and it never stopped me, I just learned to be sneaky about it. So, I think being aware of the music they listen to and open communication is important. 

Now that I’ve typed this, I do remember maybe one time that I told my son to turn off a song that I couldn’t stand the lyrics of, haha. Didn’t tell him he couldn’t listen to it at all, just not at that moment where I could hear it. He went through a lot of music stages and I think it’s led him to have an appreciation for a wide variety of music. 

Post # 5
222 posts
Helper bee

We were never restricted in what we could listen to – we heard some very questionable songs at young ages! But mum and/or dad would always mention if it was a song we shouldn’t repeat outside of the house because it might offend others. It was never an issue and my siblings and I turned out just fine! Very different tastes in music too – I listen to RnB/hip hop/rap/pop/dubstep, my elder sibling listens to rock/bit of dark stuff and my younger sibling listens to electro/dubstep/nu jazz. Having listened to a wide range of music when we were younger allowed us all to work out our individual tastes.

Post # 6
6667 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I generally don’t censor what I’m listening to for my kids. When my 10 year old heard the non-radio version of “Thriftshop” we had a discussion about how the f-word is not an acceptable word for us to use in our house. But I know she is going to hear much worse- so I’d rather tackle it head on.

Post # 7
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@ForeverBirds:  At age 8 or 9 my kids’ music tastes were pretty limited, like just the Australian Idol winners, whose music was always pretty clean.

When they were older, like teenagers, I didn’t control their music at all. It would have been too intrusive, not worth the worry, and I had/have bigger worries like filtering their internet.

Post # 8
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

My parents never monitored what I listened to. I’ll you a story though, I bought my first Marilyn Manson cassette (don’t laugh – I didn’t get my own CD player until I was 12) in 4th grade and remember asking my uncle what “sodomy” was LOL!!

Post # 9
6067 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

@Aquaria:  omg!! what did he say?

I think it’s best to be aware of all your child’s interests and to keep up a dialogue about them.


Post # 10
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

So my dad tried pretty hard to censor my music taste when I was 12-13, right when I started buying CDs (*laugh* remember CDs?). My dad was sort of ignorant about the whole thing, though, and tried to limit ALL R&B and hip-hop, and when he tried to censor Will Smith, which teachers played at school, I termed my father a racist and completely disregarded his opinion. Mind you, that was probably slightly unfair of 12 year old me, but the point is, the censorship, and more importantly the thoughtless censorship, just made me want to circumvent it more. I very quickly got a copy of TLC’s Fanmail from a boyfriend I wasn’t supposed to have, and remember gawking at the line where she needs “ten inch or bigger, know how to lick and stick it what what.” 

The moral of the story: There are a lot of awful song lyrics that will rob a certain amount of innocence from children, but trying to heavily censor without a frank discussion about it will, according to my experience, end in miserable failure. Kids will get it elsewhere. I think if my dad had been more careful and thoughtful about it, talking to me about why he was censoring music and actually LISTENING to the music rather than painting an entire genre with a broad brush, it might have been much more effective. 

Another example, I had several friends in middle school that were only allowed to listen to Christian music. But all it took was one party and someone bringing the Aqua CD, and the whole youth group was singing Barbie Girl. 

Boy did this post date me…

Post # 11
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I stumbled into 2 Live Crew (in their heyday in the late 80s) and NWA.  The only times my parents complained was the one time I was blasting a 2 Live Crew song on my boom box (yes, I feel old now) and they came home.  I remember hearing the car and flying down the stairs to turn it off (it was in the living room) as my mom was walking in the door.  She told me if I wanted to listen to that she couldn’t realistically stop me (which was true) but that if she EVER found out I was playing it around the foster kids there would be hell to pay.   She also bought me a Suicidal Tendencies with an explicite lyric warning a few years later so … *shrug*… I turned out fine.

I also remember loving Madonna, Janet Jackson, and others as a child and not really even understanding the lyrics until I was older, then thinking “holy crap, I ran around singing that!”.  I remember running around singing Janet Jackson’s Nasty when I was in elementry school… I didn’t have a clue lol.

But I can see how it’s MUCH harder to pick music for a kid’s iPOD/MP3 player/phone!   I’d go at it much like my reception music where kids and old folks were there… safe music… which doesn’t mean bad music!

Post # 12
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We listened to pretty mucj whatever we wanted and turned out just fine. Music with vulgar lyrics isnt going to turn someone into a bad person. 

Post # 13
810 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

When my sister and I were little we used to dance around the house singing “I’m horny, I’m horny, horny, horny tonight!” – mind you, I always thought it said honey and thought it was very odd for someone to “be honey”.  Lol. As we got older we were able to listen to whatever we wanted but if it swore we had to keep it to ourselves, Ipod, bedroom on low volume etc. 

Post # 14
677 posts
Busy bee

I’m going to make an assumption that these nieces are from a sibling biologically related to you, so a sibling who grew up with you and knows this music taste. If that’s the case, and they didn’t veto you uploading music, then I would think they’re fairly lenient.

Also, I was allowed to listen to pretty much anything and I turned out fine. They actually bought me Good Charlotte/New Found Glory tickets for my sweet 16. I think it really is a case-by-case situation though, If you have a child who understands when you say certain words aren’t “appropriate” to say, then it’s fine, but if they’re the type who will continue to say rude things (ex. a little boy I used to babysit would constantly call his older sister stupid, even when told not to) words just to annoy you, then maybe not letting them learn curses is a good idea.

Post # 15
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

My Mom listened to most of our music with us. She never said “You can’t listen to this song” or anything, but she would say “Oops! _______ is a bad word! Don’t say that word, or we can’t listen to this song any more.”


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