Tweens & questionable music: A follow-up

Found this gem on my phone this morning. 

Last month I asked for suggestions on how to deal with my son’s interest in music with raunchy lyrics, and the feedback I got on the blog, on Instagram, and in discussions with a few friends was so good that I wanted to consolidate it and share it en masse here:

• Check out similar genres that are mostly instrumental, like electronica or dub step.

• Create a family playlist full of clean songs from every genre—it’s good exposure to the classics and will become a fun family tradition.

• Keep a small Bluetooth speaker in the main part of the house. Allow kids to connect with Spotify when you’re home and can monitor the music. When a song that’s questionable pops up, discuss the lyrics. And when a beautiful song plays, talk about the beauty of the words or instrumentals.

• Make playlists on iTunes of their favorite approved songs.

• Give your kids $100 to spend on iTunes; approve the song list ahead of time, then help them download the song list to their iPods so you know what they’re listening to.

• Sign up for Apple Music—it’s $15 a month for the family plan. Change the settings to block all songs labeled “explicit” on both the radio feature and downloadable music.

• Try Google Music and use the setting that turns off explicit songs. Google Music’s family plan also comes with YouTube Red, where family members can set up their own playlists.

• Listen to rappers with high standards. James the Mormon and NF were both recommended.

Our plan is to sign up for Apple Music after school ends (contingent upon our son earning good grades). In the meantime, we’ve changed settings on Pandora—if you want to do the same, just click on your account and turn off “allow explicit content.” This little change won’t catch all the inappropriate songs, but it is a start. We are also playing a lot of NF, and my son thinks he’s the coolest (and I think it’s cool there’s a Christian rapper who isn’t afraid to keep things clean).

So thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who added their two cents. There are more proactive options out there than I realized, so there’s no need to be afraid of music. We moms can take back the power! And we can empower our kids to celebrate the things that interest them while keeping their standards high.

Tell me, though, are there any tough topics or situations you are struggling to navigate as a mom? I would love to talk about these here—maybe we can help each other with other tricky situations. •

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