Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No, I Don't Think Rap Music Influences My Kids. Oh Yeah- and I Got New Shoes

(Have you entered my giveaway yet??? Click HERE)

I have been involved in a lot of different parent groups/young kid classes since I have had my kids. And it is inevitable that the topic between mostly the stay at home mommies (I'm apparently a freak because I work. Yeah- we have this pesky problem of wanting to eat every day) is social influences on children. And it is all I can do to keep my mouth fucking shut. I don't share the "rap is bad" and "tv will turn your kids into zombies", etc. I actually believe it's a lack of parenting that will fuck your kid up.

When I was pregnant the only thing that would get the kids to settle the hell down for me to sleep was rap music. When they were babies rap and rock music would settle them down, get them to stop crying. Put them to sleep. When we get bored, we (meaning me and the kids) rock out to almost everything. Their favorites are: Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift, Paramore, Anberlin, 50Cent, Ciara, Mya, Taking Back Sunday, Silversun Pickups, MGMT (this is new to them), Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Muse, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers Band, Tool, Ozzy Osbourne, etc. We're pretty eclectic. I mean I like a lot of stuff, I own a lot of stuff and I almost always have music on in the house.
Here's Jackson- this is him watching MTV with me on the weekend when they actually showed videos. I know- miracle. But they had a Lil' Wayne video and here he is with his gangsta gear. And yes, his hat says "Rock Hero".
But music has actually helped my kids a lot. They can keep with a rhythm, we make instruments and try to stay with the beat. Olivia picks out rhyming words. And let's be frank- learning to rap is a good skill. Rap is basically just talking really fast and you need to talk really fast if you're at a doctor's office, right? :)
I do believe that as a parent, it's my job to teach my children right/wrong. It's not like I would rely on any social medium to do my job for me. My parents let me listen and watch anything I wanted but always kept me in check. Like one Christmas I got a Marilyn Manson and Orgy cd's. For school shopping that year I remember telling my mom I needed a Cherry Poppin' Daddies T-shirt. But my mom and dad were always pretty strict when they told me what I was allowed/not allowed to do. They had expectations and god dammit you were to met those. My parents had confidence that I could make my own decisions as I got older. If they were wrong, I would learn it. If they were right, they'd praise us.
I try not to stomp on other people's opinions (unless I think they are so far off and radical because someone needs to take that stuff down a notch). I don't like it when I get a dirty look from a parent when they see me drive up with my kids jamming out to Lil' Wayne. Get over yourself. I limit their tv and I don't let them watch graphic stuff. Do we watch the news with them? Yes. Do we talk about it, answer their questions? Yes. Do I expose other people's kids to it when they come over? No- I respect other people's parenting style. Which is just something I would expect in return. Which is funny because a lot of moms out there don't do that. I'm realistic, as my parents always were, of what the real world is like. I'm not going to shelter my kids from things because I don't want them to know about it. That's only give them a huge shock as they get older. Although I hope nothing bad ever comes their way, I know it will. I know they will struggle and let's be real- sometimes parents can't help. I know that. But I don't think that controlling what your kid is exposed to at an extreme level is really necessary. Be open with your kids. Talk with them. Have a relationship with them. They are smarter than you think.

Here was Jackson about two weeks ago. He was trying to say "cool boy" which hi- super cool and cute.

On to other things. Here are my new shoes! Aren't they the fucking hotness??? The only thing cooler than my PLAID Vans are the courduroy ones in like midget size. I love Vans. I have loved them since high school. My only beef is that they have gotten cheaper. In HS you could wear these things ever day, and the top of the shoe was cushioned which meant no blisters. I get blisters on the back of my heel when I wear these. I guess it'll be that way until I break them in. But whatever. They are awesome. Strangers in stores say my shoes are cool. So far the only person who says I look like "a retard" is my brother. Whatever. They are the hotness.


Steph said...

rad shoes. jealous!

The Insatiable Host said...

1. My kids know more about The Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre and Drum N Bass than any other pimped out mutha'effin' G-dawg than I know...
2. Your shoes do kick ass!
3. Your kid is friggen amazing!
4. Ain't Nothin But a G Thang Baby

ps. the reason why your kids liked it soo much is the cures all whining, crying and lack of sleep...louder the better

Angela said...

I actually love your shoes! I don't usually go for a style like that, but they're pretty awesome.
As long as you're teaching your kids right from wrong, I see nothing wrong with the music your kids listen to!

Kimberly said...

Your kid is such a g.

My parents took the same approach, it seems, as yours. I was basically allowed to watch what I want and listen to what I want. A lot of the time, they'd watch/listen with me first just so they could talk to me about it. I never felt like I had to hide things from them or sneak around because of it. I feel like I turned out alright, and I hope I eventually do at least half the job they did when I have kids. They let me make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes. I really appreciate that.
I feel that parents who are super overprotective and strict are the ones that push their kids to extremes, anyway.

Danielle said...

I'm so with you on the whole Rap isn't going to make my kid into a horrible person! I don't get it! But I think its just ignorant people who are trying to point the fingers at someone else for their short-comings ... its just life I guess! Everyone wants to find someone else to blame when their kid is fucked up or doesn't exactly fit the mold!

Love the new shoes! :)

Karls said...

Fuck it! I say do what you want and raise your kids how ever the fuck you want. It ain't nobodies business but yours. If they know right from wrong and are happy and well adjusted (like young Striling... not) then your doing a great job! Go girl!

Lady Grey said...

You are so right! Kids need to explore music, my kid loves Rock, and is big into the Beatles. Exposure to different types of music also teaches culture!
BTW: Dig the shoes!

Gini said...

Those shoes are sweet! You can wear them with like anything. Good buy.

Mr O said...

True words:

I'm not going to shelter my kids from things because I don't want them to know about it. That's only give them a huge shock as they get older.

And I am still smiling at the fact that you and your kids rock out to, among other things, Taking Back Sunday

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

A lot of times I think people are trying to find ANY REASON to explain why people end up being bad people.

Which is dumb. It's not music and it's not video games. I mean hell, go watch the news and it'll be just as bad.

And I say this as I watch a show on E! about kids who are young and going on killing rampages. Hmm.

Sara said...

I hope my kids learn to rap. It will be a good skill for them. Me? I was raised in Deep South, so, I cannot rap to save my ass. Ask me any Country song and I can tell you. Rock? Yeah. After that it gets pretty eclectic.

The shoes are cool. I've never worn Vans.

Sara Strand said...

@Instaitablehost- gin & juice baby.

@Sarah, Gini, Angela, - THANKS...the shoes are the hotness.

@Kimberly- if you know and cool hand signs for Jack that'd be cool.

@Danielle- you are adorable. Heart you.

@Karls- you need to be a mom. I can't wait to hear a 3 year old say "arse".

@Natacha- yes- music is so educational. I also think it teaches them all kinds of emotions as well.

@MrO- this will sound terrible, but I always loved in HS watching the private school kids walk in on the first day. They all looked like they were pissing themselves once they realized most of the first floor smelled like pot. LOL. And Jack loves TBS.

@Krysten- I know, I feel like every parent messes up somehow but instead of saying, "Yah, I should have done better" they find something to blame.

@Sara- I can't rap either. It's not for lack of trying, though.

Another David said...

Thank you for understanding your job as a parent. Seriously. The neighborhood where I grew up (and where my parents live) it turning to shit because the parents won't discipline their kids. They live in a predominantly black community, but I wouldn't exactly describe it as ghetto. The problem is the kids all think they live in the ghetto (or at least want to pretend that they do), so they start acting all gangsta. Twelve year olds, hanging out on the corner til 1AM... where the hell are their mothers?!

I remember in high school, I saw a kid had used permanent marker to write "Rosaryville Estates Crew" on the back of a seat. Come on now, if your crew's name includes "estate," you're clearly not gangsta hahaha

Chicken said...

Don't ever let anyone judge your parenting style because nobody knows your kids like you do. Jackson looks adorable in his ghetto gear! And when he becomes the next M&M he can pay for his mama's new mansion!