March 6th, 2013

Keeping up. Not really.

Through a series of fortunate events, Ambrose recently upgraded to an iPod Touch and his younger brother Stephen inherited the ancient artifact known as his former iPod nano. Win, win!

But these boys do not enjoy the same listening privileges, and so this morning I was tasked with approving the songs that were on the 14-year-old’s device for 11-year-old listening. Bob Marley, okay. Cars soundtrack, okay. Usher … well, I don’t know.

“He doesn’t need that,” Dan told me on the phone when I asked his opinion. “Just take it off.”

When I told Stephen this news, he did not argue, but he did mention that the song in question was one of his favorites and he was disappointed to lose it. To educate myself, I looked up the lyrics and for good measure, opened the video on YouTube so that I could hear the song as I read the words.

I didn’t need to do that, though. Because upon hearing the music, 6-year-old Daniel immediately appeared at my side. And he was singing every single word of the lyrics from memory. With finger-pointing, microphone-miming, and hip-shaking.

But if I stop then just know that imma bring it back,
Never quittin’ on believin’ that.

“Oooooh, I LOVE that song!” Gabby called from the next room.

And then the final words seemed especially fitting.

Gonna push it to the limit, give it more.

I give up. No, I don’t. But I’m not winning this thing.

14 comments to Keeping up. Not really.

  • Just don’t let them listen to Tupac.

  • Hi Danielle! Isn’t it crazy how much sooner the little ones learn things? My 19 month old can sing parts of Gangham Style. What the what?

  • My 11-year-old wants the “Thrift Shop” song for his iPod. No thanks.

  • Cary

    Danielle, I agree that it’s an ongoing battle, but we’ve got to keep up the fight!

    When my son got his first iPod he handed me a list of songs that he wanted to download and his older sister laughed and said he must now know about the process. She told him that Mom has to listen, look at the lyrics (because who can understand many of these songs), check out and other sites, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to have a few of the songs on your list. I’ve found now that they give much more thought to their request lists in order to avoid conversations as to why these songs aren’t appropriate and how we shouldn’t give our hard earned money in support.

  • Jo Flemings

    I call this welcome to pan generational parenting. I feel your pain.

  • Teresa Giorgio

    Oh, Lordy. I find the same thing – with the older kids I always had to know what was on their iPod (or whatever the listening devices were ten years ago!). Now with the middle and younger kids it’s almost a lost cause. They have heard so much more current music, watched so many more TV shows (on Netflix) and movies, and are just in general SO much more “in the know” than the older kids were at their age. I just can’t keep track of it all, just like many other things in a family with five times the number of kids than adults :). I guess we just don’t sweat this stuff as much anymore…..we’re still an authentically Catholic family, and do our best to pass on the faith to our kids. And hey, I like a little Usher every now and then too!

  • I am another pan-generational parent with kids ranging from 21 to 11. I LOVE that I can go to my oldest and ask if something is OK for his brother. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

  • Anita

    I have often thought that this would eventually be a problem, but so far (eldest almost 12) it hasn’t. We homeschool, and neither I nor my spouse listen to popular music. If they hear something on the radio as I flip from EWTN to news, they make faces, and say “What kind of music is THAT!” We don’t have a radio in the house.

    I have no idea how I would begin to choose stuff, since as far as I can tell a huge proportion of music is “love” songs then a big chunk is “party” songs and I see no point in either. Are there ANY popular “artists” with any talent or originality? Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but I hope by dint of education and exposing my kids to beautiful sacred and classical music, and talented out-of-the-mainstream music to avoid having to actually READ Usher lyrics. Not that I’m clear who he is, but sounds like a rapper name. And not letting them know about Itunes. Yeah, probably deluding myself. Probably just like when I had one baby and I looked at the mom in the store yelling at her kids and thought what a horrible person she was to yell at her children. Yeah. That ship has sailed.

  • Amber Van Karsen

    Argh! I hear you. Isn’t it crazy what they pick up? My 4yr old can hear a song once & becomes a parrot which in turn causes my 2yr old to become a parrot. I have yet to figure out how to unteach them a word/phrase but I’ve learned the bigger deal I make of it–the more they’ll say it or sing it, and usually at the most inopportune time. 🙂

  • Good for you Danielle!
    I totally know the feeling.. with 2 older teens, having to be the media for so many years. It’s sad that the bar is getting lower and lower for what is deemed appropriate in mainstream entertainment. Eventually we won’t have a say in what they listen to and pray we have set the right example until that point and time.

  • Michele

    My oldest is 7 so we are still in charge here! LOL! We only listen to Christian music. They walk around always singing Christian music. I LOVE that! When we went to visit their cousins that we older they listened to other music that was really catchy and stuck in your head but…when I looked up the lyrics, they were horrible! There is some amazing Christian music and I feel I never have to worry about the lyrics. Some of our favorites are Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp…but some new ones they recently love are TobyMac and Jamie Grace!! She is amazing!
    I am not telling you how to live….just simply sharing our life 🙂

  • Teresa

    If you have not listened to The Profound Effects of Music on Life, you will be amazed

  • Sherry

    If it makes you feel any better, we were at a Christmas pageant at my children’s school and after the show was over, my then 4 year old daughter clad in her red velvet dress went up to the mike and began singing, “Psycho Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est ?” because the older ones play Rock Band. (Sigh). Good thing Sister (principal of the school) has a sense of humor.

  • Love hearing about your life Danielle; thanks for sharing, as always. 🙂

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