Last week, Aidan burst into song in the kitchen. This isn't an unusual occurrence at our house by any means, but this time, I was surprised to hear a Ke$ha song, or well, an approximation of a Ke$ha song: "I wake up in the morning, feelin' like pa-liddy. . . Mom, what's pa-liddy?"
I asked Aidan where he heard the song, and he told me, "From my friends on the playground."
OK. Pardon me while I ascend the stepladder to my soapbox. Just because it's on the radio, doesn't mean your six-year-old should hear it. The rest of this song essentially echoes our nation's obsession with alcohol ("I brush my teeth with a bottle of jack")and superficial sexuality ("Boys try to touch my junk"). Needless to say, not exactly the type of song I want Aidan to learn the rest of the lyrics to. I tried to explain this in kindergarten terms, and I found that I partially got through to him. Fast forward to a few days later. . .
"Mom, those boys were singing that "Wake up in the morning" song again, and I got mad. I told them not to sing it anymore because it's a bad song about drinking too much Gatorade. They didn't listen."
I even had to explain what drugs are to Aidan recently, because he read the "Drug Free Zone" sign at his school. For him, it was impossible to understand why people would ever:
1. intentionally do something that could harm them
2. do anything that is against the law
In fact, when I explained drugs to Aidan, he simply said, "Then they should be illegal." It's really that simple for him. If it's bad for you, don't do it. We once passed a man smoking outside of Wal-Mart. He grabbed Gabrielle's hand, pulling her away from him, saying, "Don't breathe around that man!" Of course, I explained to him that publicly pointing out other people's bad decisions is in poor taste, but for him, it was a no-brainer. Smoking is bad. We shouldn't do it. End of story.
I've shared the playground music story with some of my juniors, and they ask me, "Why on earth would a 6-year-old be allowed to listen to Ke$ha?" So, I am not just a prude here. I am not alone in thinking that as parents we should be the gatekeepers of our children's minds in the early years. I realize that I can never completely control what my children hear; I would never want to do that. But, I want to make sure they are ready to comprehend and filter out trash when they encounter it. With the maturation of our children being forced at breakneck speed, I don't see the need to force our kids to grow up any earlier than they already do.