Uh huh. I said it. And here's why: While driving, Sarah and I are jamming to the radio. Katy Perry's new song Teenage Dream came on (this was a while ago, obviously). I'd never heard it before, but it's one of those songs that you just instantly like to car-dance to. So Sarah and I are groovin'. Then I hear, "Let's go all the way . . .tonight." And I immediately flip the station. Because, that is so not appropriate for a 4 year old to be listening to. I have mostly country stations programed into my radio, so when I flipped the station, it when to a country one. And this is what I heard
Let's make love
All night long
Until all our strength is gone
Hold on tight
Just let go
I want to feel you in my soul
Until the sun comes up
Let's make love
One of my favorite songs, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw's "Let's Make Love." But in that moment, as I heard Sarah start to try to sing along, I had to question myself. What phrase was going to get her asking questions? Which words were going cause her to ask me, "What does ___ mean?"
I reached over and slapped off the radio, shutting down Faith and Tim, just as quickly as I had shut down Katy. We rode in silence the rest of the way to school.
I realized that I had two options. Option one: Not listen to secular radio. Completely edit the music I let my children listen to so that they only hear Christian groups. I did give this some serious thought. Songs like "Let's Get Drunk and Screw" and "I Need You Now" made me lean heavily this way. Because really, who wants their 5 year old singing along to, "I'm a little drunk and I need you now"?
Option two: Realize that Violet already knew all the words to Teenage Dream before I even knew she'd heard it. Realize that I need to be more vigilant in popular music -- Violet knew the words and I'd never even heard the song? And make sure that those lines of communication are really, really open.
But, you guys, I never, ever thought I'd be thinking of this stuff at the ages my kids are!
I let "Teenage Dream" play the next few times it came on and didn't worry. The kids rocked out. Then I heard Sarah just wailing, "Put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans I'll be your teenage dream tonight." And I threw up a little. OK, a lot.
So, now I turn the volume down when that lyric comes on. Yeah, they already know that line, so I realize, too little too late. But they've gotten used to me randomly turning the radio down. They don't ask why I'm doing it anymore. I explained that I don't like what she's saying, it's 'trashy.'
Ugh. Parenting 101. The radio is a dark and dangerous place. Bet that wasn't in any of your parenting books, was it?