My boys were recently on a kick to listen to music in their room on the small boom box/radio that sits on their dresser. For a few weeks, I’d come into the room and find my oldest sitting on the floor playing with Legos and singing along to some fast paced song that he’d discovered on the FM dial. Despite my best efforts to keep tuned to the family friendly station, I increasingly kept finding him bopping to Eminem or Rhianna going on about burning someone’s house down.

“That’s not the kind of music you should be listening to,” I patiently told him. “There’s too many bad words and it’s violent for kids to listen to.”

“But I like the beat,” he answered, “and those other songs are all slow and BORING.”

After doing a quick double take to make sure I was in fact still speaking to my not-quite seven year old and not a teenager, I changed the station again and told him I’d figure it out. Clearly, something something had to be done.

I decided to burn him a CD from iTunes with some more appropriate but upbeat songs. I love for him to like and listen to music, but just with a bit more parental guidance. I was pleased when he reacted positively to a collection of tunes that included Toby Mac, Survivor, Bryan Adams, U2, Switchfoot, DC Talk and the like.

Of course, my younger son immediately demanded to know where his personal mix CD was, so I had to make another one. (which his brother quickly declared was better and got jealous, but what else is new…)

After a few weeks of giving them this new music, my wife came home and shared how they were listening to one of the CDs in the car together when a Bon Jovi song came on that I’d included. Our five-year-old started drumming his hands and yelled out, “I LOVE this song – Living on a Prairie!”


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