Should I Let My Child Go to a Rock Concert?

If the price tag of tickets to a rock concert isn't unnerving enough, parents worry: Are concerts safe? Will there be drugs? Should a 10-year-old be allowed to go?

Arranging for your child to see a favorite rock act is a good idea for a variety of reasons.

Music becomes central to the life of children as they enter early adolescence. According to the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, TV watching declines during the middle school years, as preteens spend four to six hours listening to music, which becomes the backdrop of their lives. While TV viewing is often done with the family, music is almost always experienced solo. Who isn't familiar with the reality of an adolescent plugged into a Walkman or holed up in her bedroom with the CD playing?

Parents need to become aware of the music playing in a child's life. Can you name your young adolescent's favorite musicians? Are you familiar with the lyrics of her most listened-to CD? What do you know about the lives of pop icons Britney Spears, Nick Carter and The Backstreet Boys, Nick's baby brother Aaron Carter, or Marilyn Manson?

A child's musical preference can be a window into the soul. A 12-year-old who is plastering her walls with pinups of Nick Carter is flirting with romantic feelings like love and even lust in the privacy of her room. A 15-year-old who becomes immersed in Kurt Cobain Nirvana records and loses interest in all activities may be skirting depression. An out-of-control 14-year-old's fascination with Marilyn Manson should trigger a closer look.

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