The sun shined brighter, the ice cream tasted sweeter, and the music sounded better when you were growing up. As we age, we nostalgize the past.It’s 2013 and your kid is rocking his “Beatz” headphones… you can’t hear much but what you do hear sounds like noise. Before you tell your child to turn it off, have you actually listened to whatever they are listening to uninterrupted? Even if you don’t like the explicit lyrics, or you want to listen to it on your own so that your child doesn’t have to witness your facial expressions, consider it. Parents are natural born haters. We. hate. everything… at least that’s the way things seem to our kids.
One of my fondest moments growing up was watching my mom attempt the “Rumpshaker” (yep, Wrecks-N-Effects) lol at a slumber party with a group of my girlfriends. We were probably 11 or 12 years old and in any other context, it would have been inappropriate, but we were masters and we felt empowered to be able to show my mom how to master the new dance craze.
Even after listening to the new music and watching the (ratchet) TV show, you have to be willing to be open. Watch the TV show with your child and let your child explain why it is appealing. And one thing that my husband has taught me is when you take something away, you should replace it with something. So if you’re going to diss Big Sean, introduce him/her to LeCrae or to another artist that is currently creating music. I know you prefer your oldies, but check out iTunes and consider introducing your child to some new music.
As a High School Teacher I soak it all in… YouTubes, Love & Hip-Hop, The Kardashians, radio, dance crazes… everything. My students never know where my latest example will come from and it is reassuring to them for an adult to “speak their language.” It also helps me understand the side conversations and jokes so that I can correct inappropriate or hurtful behavior and not be TOTALLY out of the loop. If you want to see a young person excited, ask them a question about anything related to their generation and watch their facial expression perk up. “So what does ratchet mean again”?
Now of course you want to make sure that you’re keeping it age appropriate, and you don’t want your kid to think you’re trying to be his/her peer, but pop culture can be a bridge of communication between you and your child. Just call me the teen whisperer lol…