Should you censor your teen's music?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Should you censor your teen's music?
32
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 3:45pm

I'd love to get your thoughts on this.  I'm a relative newbie when it comes to the teen world, and while I had views coming into this on what I would or wouldn't allow, I  know from experience that you never say never when it comes to how you parent. 

I just read an opinion piece from the Chicago Tribune, the mom was explaining her reasons behind her decision not to censor her daughter's music choices, here's a link if you want to check it out: http://www.chicagonow.com/music-mom/2012/09/should-you-censor-the-music-your-teenager-listens-to-this-mom-says-no/.  

I agree with her to a point, but unsure if I'm willing to totally let it go.  There are still movies/TV shows that I don't allow my oldest to watch, so why would I have a different viewpoint when it comes to music?  I was taken aback a couple of years ago when I heard some of the songs that my friend's daughter would listen to, they were pretty obscene and went way beyond what P!nk or Katy Perry put out.   Although you have to give some leeway and can't control all their environments, you can at least try to keep it at a minimum.  Am I totally in la-la land with this thinking?

Do you try to censor the type of music that your kids are exposed to?

 

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 5:53pm
Thanks for your reply. It is very hard to control what their friends have in terms of video games. I've managed to avoid it so far by not having an Xbox, but I'm sure my son will be getting one in a couple of years (he's only 14 now). I'm sure he's played them over at friends houses, so I do my best like you have to raise them with good values. I'm pretty glad that for the most part his friends come over here, at least I know to some extent what they are doing. Not that you'll ever know it all...and that's not always a bad thing.

I know our district is pretty strict about the school computers, they have to sign a computer agreement every year. I'm not how good they are at policing it though, the kids can be very tech savvy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 6:02pm

Yeah, you know what they were doing at my sons' school?  They had a friend leave mid-year.  The school did not shut down his account right away.  The kid gave some other kids his account information, and that's where they were dropping -- and picking up -- materials.  My son said he knew about it but wasn't part of it, and I almost believe him.   Almost. 

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 6:06pm
Sigh... at least he told you about it? I would take that as a positive sign.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 9:16am
As far as the kids and the computer situation...anyone who tries to keep up with teens and computer security has a full time job on their hands. The district is on to "sandbox" now, but at least 300 kids had used it for several months before they were. And I m sure that there is some equivalent out there now that I don't DVD. Know about that high school and college kids are using to get past school security systems.
Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 11:48am
My kids don't use my credit card to download music; they use gift cards that they purchase themselves. However, I do have access to their i-tunes, and my younger dd (13) has to ask me if she wants to buy something that is rated objectionably. When she asks, I look at the lyrics and discuss them with her. She's never asked to get something that was so objectionable that I would say no. I don't require my HS kid to ask first, but I know her taste in music, and she doesn't have the kind of friends who listen to that stuff. I don't see anything wrong with parents censoring their kids' music if it's really objectionable, as long as they're realistic about it. The kids can still listen to this on the radio, at friends' houses, or by sharing files even if you say no.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2012
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 2:22pm
Completely agree. We are always trying to keep our rights to avoid censorship, why would we contradict that in the lessons we teach our children? I'm all about free speech and freedom of expression.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2011

My 14 year old daughter went through a Lil Wayne phase recently. I spent a lot of time talking to her about feminism, self-worth, and the kind of respect she should expect from boys. We talked a lot about the kind of environment that a girl might come from, and the lack of self-esteem she may have to respond to negative female monikers like "ho" and about what kind of men would find it proper to exploit those negative self images and demean women in general. The music also opened up some honest dialogue between us about drug use.

Overall, I would rate her foray into raunchy rap a positive and learning experience for us, especially because she's not so old of a teen where my thoughts and opinions as a parent still hold a lot of weight with her. (I can't imagine my 18 year old neice being as receptive to similar conversations, for example.)

My daughter has gone throught lots of music phases. She never really abandons them, her focus simply changes. My assumption was that this kind of indentity exploration was normal for a teen. I hadn't considered that she might like rap because I failed to instil proper values in her as a parent.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 5:57pm
Jamblessed, if your school doesn't have records of similar violations it's not because the kids are not violating policies. It's because they are not getting caught.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 12:12pm

I think it's totally impossible to prevent kids from listening to music/watching movies, etc. taht you don't approve of.  You can refuse to buy it but their friends can have the stuff so they can just listen to it at their friends' houses, on the friends' IPods, etc.  I have my kids play their IPods in the car--I have found some new bands that I like that I never would have heard of.  We have also had discussions about things I find objectionable--too raunchy is the most often used complaint.  I really dont' think it makes too much difference in their values.  My DD listened to all kinds of hip hop that had raunchy lyrics and now she's 23 and a nurse caring for pediatric cancer patients.  so no I wouldn't bother to censor.  I remember as a teenager, if my parents said they didn't want me watching a certain TV show (which I'm sure was very tame compared to today) it only made me want to watch it more to find out what I was missing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010

I agree, I bet most schools have a strict policy about the computer--they have to sign some kind of agreement here also.  I doubt that deters any teens that really want to do something they shouldn't.  

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief