Noodle is ten and a half now and I find myself constantly surprised, pleased and fascinated by his tentative steps into the adult world. Lately he's been exploring music.
A couple of his friends have introduced him to pop music. Ever the cynic, Noodle asks me if their claims are real. "Is Eminem really the most famous rapper in the world?" "Is Michael Jackson the most popular singer in the world?"
It's adorable that Noodle fully expects me to know the answers to all these questions. "but you know everything don't you?" he said to me last week. That's right Baby I do! I won't refute that claim for as long as it will fly!!
I remember being somewhat jealous of my younger sister who was a devoted fan of pop music from quite a young age. When my friends started talking about music I was clueless despite having grown up listening to the radio constantly (just background noise). I got my first cassette tape for my twelfth birthday: Of course it was Wham!! 1983!!
These days kids learn about music from their peers, that remains unchanged but there's also 24 hour cable MTV, and available anytime YouTube. The other night Noodle and I looked up Eminem. I had to search in the recesses of my brain for a video that wasn't too graphic in nature. This morning Little Guy and I were watching the US Top 50 on television. In the end I switched it off as I felt the extreme sexual overtones as well as the derogatory portrayal of women as playthings was not the message I want my five year old to pick up.
That's right I have now become a parent who needs to care about the Parental Advisory sticker on CD cases!! But who even buys CDs anymore?
How much do other parents monitor this kind of thing? Is it my duty to protect them from the inevitable? At least for another few years? Or will they just end up feeling embarrassed at their lack of this "basic" knowledge? Should I take an active role in this education or should trust his instincts and let him explore on his own, say with an iTunes account?