Friday, April 18, 2014

Radio, Talking and "The Talk"

The training facility where my kids do their soccer clinics offers programs on days that school is out.  The kids wanted to participate this week, so we signed them up for the morning session.  Their normal soccer facility is about ten minutes from home, but that facility wasn't offering class this week, so we were making a drive of about 35-40 minutes each way to the next closest facility.  Not a big deal--I've been dropping the kids off each day, geocaching for a couple of hours and then picking them up again; not exactly a sacrifice for me.  (Found 19 in 2.5 hours this AM, including the sneaky one below...a new daily record.)

Thing One likes listening to popular music in the car.  There's one station that is his particular favorite, and I try to humor him unless the song that is playing is inappropriate or the DJs are having a conversation that isn't kid-friendly, which unfortunately happens quite a bit on this station.  I'm not ordinarily in the car much between 8 and 9AM, but this week I had extended driving time during that period because of soccer and I was amazed at how much of that station's broadcast was pure DJ yammering; virtually no music at all.  It actually got to be funny after a over, still talking, click away again.  If I was a work commuter, it would make me nuts: just play some damned tunes and shut up already!

Thing One learned about the birds and the bees this year in school as part of the regular curriculum.  He seems to be dealing fine with it, all things considered, but his formal education has not included euphemisms and slang, much of which can be found on this particular radio station between the music and the aforementioned yammering.  I spend a lot of time turning it off and telling him that I will explain why later (mostly because I don't want my six year-old innocently singing or repeating something that she doesn't understand and then getting in trouble for it.)

Terms I have had to explain to Thing One in the last couple of weeks (age-appropriately of course):

"get with/get together"
"talk dirty"
"spend the night"
"gold digger"
"knocked up"

Yes, I do understand that the easy way out would be to just not allow him to listen to that station.  However, I am not naive enough to believe that he isn't hearing these things in other places as well (his friends' houses, soccer, the school bus, etc) and I'm choosing to use it as a teaching tool and starting point for important conversations.  I want him to be able to feel comfortable talking to me and asking me questions if he has any, and I don't see any value whatsoever in having either my head or his in the sand!  Hope this does not come back to bite me later, but it seems like the right thing to do right now.




  1. I completely concur.

    I love how media (in our case, usually movies) opens up such interesting conversations with my godsons.

  2. Glad for the backup, my friend. Seems like so much of parenting is case-by-case judgment calls!

  3. I would much rather that they talk to their parents and me about drugs and racism and ways of making sense of the world, then trying to navigate it alone. I just wish the 15-year-old would bring up sex to talk about as I'm sure his friends are sexually active, and there's just so much to make sense of there to develop positive sexuality. I want to know that if he's at a party where there's alcohol poisoning or if a friend gets pregnant or STD, or any of those such things, that they know how to not make the situation worse and that they have adults to turn to. I also want him to know how to not only not engage in inappropriate sexual contact but how to take a stand against it - so many teen acquaintance rapes happen in the context of parties and alcohol with lots of other people knowing what's going on. We need to know that our kids won't let that happen anywhere near them, that they'll stand up against what's wrong. I simply didn't have any awareness of such things when I was first thrust into them, and I wish there'd been somebody to talk them through with me.

  4. I was sheltered as a kid, and pretty much didn't run into any of that stuff until I was already out on my own. From what I'm hearing, it won't be the same for my kids--big public high school--so I know I need to be proactive...just trying to feel my way through the 'how' part. I have a good friend who is trying desperately to protect her girls from everything by keeping them out of the social loop entirely, and I have a horrible feeling that her approach will blow up in her face sooner or later.


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