Don’t touch that dial

Today, it hit me….I no longer have control over my car stereo. From the minute my teens get in the car, they are changing stations, cranking up the tunes, adjusting the fader and shoving CDs in and out of the player. Do they grow out of this stage? Will I one day reclaim my control over the dial?

Even more bothersome to me is what’s playing on my speakers. I’m no prude but have you heard some of the lyrics in today’s music? Sometimes, I don’t even realize how raunchy they are until I hear the words coming out of my kids’ mouths.  

Just the other day, a song came on radio that I’ve heard a dozen times. My kids and their friends were belting out ALL the lyrics.  They were completely different from what I was singing (a sign of old age?) Still, I wondered if any of them had a clue what the song really was about. What mother wouldn’t just adore her 14-year-old daughter singing along with Katy Perry:  “Let’s go all the way tonight.” Of course, my son sings along with Eminen, who uses the f-word at least twice in Love the Way You Lie.

Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, says parents should ask our children why they like a certain song or album and what they think the artist is saying.

Here’s a scary fact: Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, according to a study by Rand Corp. in Pittsburgh. Are these songs an instruction manual?

I like that my teens are on the cutting edge of music, exposing me to new groups and sounds. But I’ve decided to put up more of a fight for control my radio dial. Does that make me a good parent, or an old lady?

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6 Comments

  1. Tracy September 15, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Well, you’re not an old lady, and I have thought many of the same things. Sometimes, I think about what they are singing, and I just want to scream, “NO!” But, then, I remember that we are in a time of open conversation, and these lyrics, at times, may open the door to dialogue. Donna Summer had lyrics from my childhood that I belted out with ferver…. “love to love you baby, ooohh, aah, ” and I was only 7 years old. Little did I know! We must keep control of our dials, cause there is so much we lose control of!

    Reply
  2. Tracy September 15, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Well, you’re not an old lady, and I have thought many of the same things. Sometimes, I think about what they are singing, and I just want to scream, “NO!” But, then, I remember that we are in a time of open conversation, and these lyrics, at times, may open the door to dialogue. Donna Summer had lyrics from my childhood that I belted out with ferver…. “love to love you baby, ooohh, aah, ” and I was only 7 years old. Little did I know! We must keep control of our dials, cause there is so much we lose control of!

    Reply
  3. Nancy Butler October 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Great website…thank you

    Reply
  4. TeeGirl August 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Whenever a song comes on with lyrics that are a bit too suggestive I simply change the station. I explain to my teen that “That’s enough! I can’t stand hearing sexually explicit songs all of the time.” and then I listen to something a bit more mellow. We eventually change back to “her” station (why have all of my pre-programmed stations suddenly become “her” stations?) and after a few songs, I change it again. This is our routine. I have learned of some new groups and I do feel it keeps me abreast of what she is listening to, but there is a limit. I think we have to explain why we feel like we do so our kids will see that we are not just being a “meanie”. Music gets more explicit with every generation and I tell her that when she is my age she will also be changing the station when her kids listen to “their” music.

    Reply
  5. TeeGirl August 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Whenever a song comes on with lyrics that are a bit too suggestive I simply change the station. I explain to my teen that “That’s enough! I can’t stand hearing sexually explicit songs all of the time.” and then I listen to something a bit more mellow. We eventually change back to “her” station (why have all of my pre-programmed stations suddenly become “her” stations?) and after a few songs, I change it again. This is our routine. I have learned of some new groups and I do feel it keeps me abreast of what she is listening to, but there is a limit. I think we have to explain why we feel like we do so our kids will see that we are not just being a “meanie”. Music gets more explicit with every generation and I tell her that when she is my age she will also be changing the station when her kids listen to “their” music.

    Reply
  6. Nico May 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Hey!

    I of course saw that this post was from 2010 but I couldn’t help but post a comment that might help any readers that still read this…

    I am a 16 year old boy that also listens to the “bad” songs, when I want to play music however, I tend to discus said music with my parents. This makes the music we listen to a mix between both our styles and neither of us are disgusted with each others music. I say that discussing topics (like music) when asked about any topic (yes this includes SEX) is a good thing. If you don’t avoid topics and answer to the best of your ability you will probably find that your kids will be more open about their life, taste (for music for example) or thoughts.

    Then again, this might not apply to all kids…

    We had the policy that my parents don’t ignore any topic and always explain their actions since I was born. This has really helped in our relationship and makes it way easier for me to talk with my parents about anything 🙂

    (Small note: my parents don’t explain stuff like their favorite sex positions, not that I want to know those but if I asked they won’t tell :p)

    That’s it! Thanks for reading!

    Reply

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