Kids Unplugged

A friend asked me a while back to write a post about kids and iPods. When is it appropriate for kids to begin listening to their own music in the car or their bedroom? Is there a magical age in which it becomes okay for your kid to begin blowing you off, with headphones in like the daughter in “17 Again?”

My daughter is nine now. She loves music. She’s begged to listen to my iPod for years. Once, a few years ago, I caved and let her listen. That is, until she started singing very loudly along to a Fergie song. When she was about four, she used to shake her little butt to the song “My Humps.” Yeah…

This may be a sign I need to start listening to the benign “Kids Bop” songs again: my six-year-old son asked me tonight to play “Big Butts” for him. His sister quickly corrected him: “You mean ‘Baby Got Back!'”

Last year, my best friend changed the words to that Lady Gaga song about the Disco Stick to “Wanna take a ride on your pogo stick” to try to make it less perverse. (Hon, I don’t think that’s any better!)

Should parents be relegated to “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Old McDonald” until their kids are of age to listen to adult music? And at what age does grown up music become acceptable to children? I’m torn. I’d love for my kids to hold onto their innocence as long as possible. But…. I’m not sure I can take repeated rounds of “Row, row, row your boat” during every car ride. Right now, they are singing along to every song they are learning for their upcoming school performance. That’s always fun. At first.

But, back to the first question I posed: At what age should kids be allowed to listen to iPods? And remember the days when we would sit in the car with our parents and sing along together? My favorites were “One eyed, one horn, flying purple people eater” and “It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini.” Oh crap. Were my parents only listening to that because they didn’t want me to hear all the dirty songs on the radio?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KalleyC
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 14:20:14

    LOL, I feel your pain with this. My daughter is 2, and is now stuck on listening to two songs. Going back into my childhood, the first time I had my own radio / walkman was when I was in 4th grade, around 9-10 and really didn’t have any limitations on it. If I felt a song would get me into trouble with the folks, I just never sang it out loud.

    I cannot listen to children’s music all day, and neither can my daughter, so I play adult music that’s clean (no obvious references to sex, humping, even very cautious about the phrase “making love”–no thank you).

    It has limited some of my music choices, but then again my choices are out there in the first way. The “worst songs” that my daughter dances to is from the Disco era, “That’s the way I like it” for example.

    I’m sure you guys will find some balance, in the radio / ipod thing. Nothing is more empowering for a kid then to know they control their own musical choices.


  2. Kara
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 05:16:00

    I got my own radio and bought my very first cassette when I was 9. I bought George Michael O.o Perhaps my mom should have been a bit more restrictive… I let Sam get an iPod when she was 11 I think, I load all her music so I know what’s on it. I’m not really a fan of most pop music anyway, my kids pretty much listen to country (not ALWAYS cleaner, but in general more family friendly). I don’t think I actually own a single kids CD, unless you count the Disney soundtracks that I got for myself because I like to sing along with them in the car., I dunno, I tend to be more permissive about this kind of stuff anyway, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.


  3. Kim
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 17:33:42

    My kids listen to KLove, clean and a positive message!!


  4. Cortney Hunt
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 15:36:13

    My daughter is 9 and has ipod I just load all her songs so I know what she is listening too! as far as her CD player though its kidz bop, disney show soundtracks etc but she actually picks those so we havent had a issue just yet!! Good luck momma


  5. cyclingrandma
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 20:45:10

    I just wrote about my dead iPod.. and how depressing it was when our kids became forever “plugged in/up..”
    Check out Bill Harley- the very best entertainer for kids and parents– he sustained us through many long car trips. (and my blog.. )


  6. Tara
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 17:38:37

    I have a little bit of kid music that my son (who is 4) and I listen to… I downloaded a few of the songs from Yo Gabba Gabba. ones that we both really liked. and otherwise, when he is with me, we only listen to clean music in the car. which means a lot of oldies and classic rock. a little pop. and then when he’s out of the car, i listen to whatever i want and i savor it lol. but we exclusively listen to my ipod at home and in the car. we havent listened to the radio in years! (too many commercials!! and why wouldn’t i listen to my ipod? it has all the music i like on it!) he hasn’t asked me to put the headphones in and listen to it by himself… but he does ask to play the games on it ALL THE TIME. he’s better at angry birds then me.


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