Last Friday I was driving with my kids.
As always, they were in charge of the music in the car. One of them played a new song and as they were singing along, I listened to the lyrics.
It was something about how the boys are showing off their muscles and the girls are simply hot.
To say I didn’t like the lyrics is an understatement! I was so annoyed that my kids were listening to it. I actually had 3 options:
Turn off the music and tell them that I forbid them to listen to this song
Tell them what I thought about the song
Have a conversation about it.
I chose the 3rd option. My kids are young teenagers and it was extremely important for me to talk about it.
Hey kids, what does it mean “the girls are hot?”
Mom, it’s like someone is really pretty and everyone thinks like that. I have a girl in my class that 4 boys think is pretty - she is really hot! And there’s another girl that only one boy thinks is pretty so she is not that hot.
Hmmm.. got it. What do you need to be considered hot?
Really? Do you have to?
The kids looked at each other, thought about it for a little while… No, actually it depends on your preference.
So… it’s not necessarily connected to the body? If someone is really smart, can she be loved regardless of how she looks?
Yes! It’s really cool to be smart
Last question...is it the same for boys and girls?
And then they went silent. Each of them is thinking his or her own thoughts.
I really don’t like that song or the lyrics, but I’m really glad we listened to it together. It was a wonderful opportunity for a conversation.
Many parents are intimidated by the content kids are exposed to on the internet or social media. I understand but I also believe that we can’t be paralyzed by fear.
Instead of panicking and blocking, we ought to embrace the opportunity: ask instead of lecturing, be curious instead of absolute and listen instead of thinking we know best.
These conversations allow us to be a part of our children’s world, deliver the message we want, and increase our kids' chances to share more with us. Those are goals all the parents
I know will be happy to focus on.