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Monday, March 22, 2010

Would You Censor Your Kids Singing?

Censoring music is wrong. I agree, there are a lot of famous entertainers who simply lack talent and so they replace creativity with shock value. But the way I see it,  censoring insipid performers like Eminem, doesn't change the fact that he sucks and it certainly won't derail a child's curiosity to say a forbidden word.

As a parent, I do the best I can to curb my bombs and peppering in front of the kids. Sometimes, though I can't help it. We live in New York. You can't walk ten feet without running into something that makes you say, What The Fuck!? Barbarian taxi and limousine drivers, sanitation department jerk-offs and their dust scattering street sweepers - and the piles and piles of dog shit. If I kept it inside, I'd have a brain tumor the size of Schwarzenegger's head.  But it's cool, yo. My kids know better than to repeat what I just said.

On the occasional slip, my three-year-old simply demands, "Say sorry, Mama. You just said a bad word." Of course, I comply - it's all he's required to do should he test the waters and say "shit" when a toy breaks.

Then I wondered about the songs he's been repeating off of our i-Tunes. Sure, it's okay for the kids to sing "I like to move it-move it," or "Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long." But when they chant, "My hump, my hump, my lovely lady hump," that's when we get a few raised eyebrows.

Sooner of later, he's going to figure out the chorus to "Last Of My Kind" by Alice In Chains - that might get me in trouble at the library. He sang "Blitzkreig Bop" and had no problem figuring out the lyrics on his own. As a matter of fact, he corrects me if I don't sing it his way. I'm hoping he'll flub the curse words like he does with other words but then I think, who am I kidding? With my luck, he'll sing all the lines with "shit" and "fuck" loud and clear. He will probably sing it over and over again, like some crazy digital sound loop but even then - I don't think I'll censor his singing.

I might tell him to not sing that song when he goes to church with his Grammy or when he's at Pre-school or when he's taking a dump in the public bathroom at Stop n' Shop but I wouldn't tell him to stop singing it altogether. And I'd refuse to alter the lyrics.

What would you do if your kid sang a song with expletives - would you censor your kids singing?


  1. Micah and I have had this discussion. Our 9 year old loves the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Many of their lyrics are questionable, but Jay doesn't repeat things and doesn't understand the lyrics. I have told MIcah that we're going to have to be more selective about what we listen to once Bean gets older. And I've already banned the Humps Song from our house.

  2. Smart move. My kids are big fans of Will Ferrell so that's how Humps happened. But I am keeping all "Rage Against The Machine" songs off our list. At least until they go to college.

  3. I'd probably not but then I have 2 girls so it lessens the probability. I am so into the Love thw Way you Lie song and I've been trying damn hard to master the Eminem rap parts with the curse words and all. I find it really challenging to say all the words correctly. Of course I'm not an English native speaker so the cuss words are not so weighty but if it was said to me in the face with intent to thrash me, well it's another story mister. Oh back to the singing, probably not.