{Live} My Little Parrot: Censoring Children’s Playlists

August 23, 2011 in All Posts, Laugh, Parenting

child playing guitarI love that Jane loves music.

She has her favorite songs, like “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz, which she can sing by heart from start to finish, and classics from my parents’ time like “A Summer Song,” by Chad and Jeremy.

We don’t censor what she listens to.

Today she looked up at me and repeated over and over, “I really f@$ed it up this time!”

I was proud of her for her great musical taste and for being able to so clearly pick out the lyrics to Mumford and Sons’ “Little Lion Man” without me singing them to her.  Is it time for us to start playing the clean version?

I don’t recall my mother ever censoring my music choices.

I suppose I was much older than Jane is now before I started hearing swear words in my favorite songs.  When we were young we mostly listened to Anne Murray, The Carpenters and Olivia Newton-John (I’m talking the early 70s, pre-Grease albums).  Those were all lyrically dreamy and feel-good songs where the songbirds would never dream of cursing in the main chorus.

In the early 80s, I began the slow transition to contemporary easy-listening and finally found my way to the good stuff when I was around 8 years old.  Even then, the subject matter of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” or Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” completely eluded me.  Even if I heard extensive profanity in the heavy metal and rap I eventually listened to, it didn’t really matter to me then.  I just loved the music.

It’s probably the same for Jane, whose extensive vocabulary doesn’t (yet) include profanity.

So perhaps the only real reason to censor what she listens to is the fear of reproach from other parents, and possibly reprimand from her preschool teacher, if she suddenly belts out something inappropriate.

I’m not sure that’s reason enough.

What do you think?  Do you censor your child’s playlists?

Wondering what we did? Read Part Two of our experience here.

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.


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