I have been involved in a lot of different parent groups/young kid classes since I have had my kids. And it is inevitable that the topic between mostly the stay at home mommies (I'm apparently a freak because I work. Yeah- we have this pesky problem of wanting to eat every day) is social influences on children. And it is all I can do to keep my mouth fucking shut. I don't share the "rap is bad" and "tv will turn your kids into zombies", etc. I actually believe it's a lack of parenting that will fuck your kid up.
When I was pregnant the only thing that would get the kids to settle the hell down for me to sleep was rap music. When they were babies rap and rock music would settle them down, get them to stop crying. Put them to sleep. When we get bored, we (meaning me and the kids) rock out to almost everything. Their favorites are: Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift, Paramore, Anberlin, 50Cent, Ciara, Mya, Taking Back Sunday, Silversun Pickups, MGMT (this is new to them), Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Muse, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers Band, Tool, Ozzy Osbourne, etc. We're pretty eclectic. I mean I like a lot of stuff, I own a lot of stuff and I almost always have music on in the house.
Here's Jackson- this is him watching MTV with me on the weekend when they actually showed videos. I know- miracle. But they had a Lil' Wayne video and here he is with his gangsta gear. And yes, his hat says "Rock Hero".
But music has actually helped my kids a lot. They can keep with a rhythm, we make instruments and try to stay with the beat. Olivia picks out rhyming words. And let's be frank- learning to rap is a good skill. Rap is basically just talking really fast and you need to talk really fast if you're at a doctor's office, right? :)
I do believe that as a parent, it's my job to teach my children right/wrong. It's not like I would rely on any social medium to do my job for me. My parents let me listen and watch anything I wanted but always kept me in check. Like one Christmas I got a Marilyn Manson and Orgy cd's. For school shopping that year I remember telling my mom I needed a Cherry Poppin' Daddies T-shirt. But my mom and dad were always pretty strict when they told me what I was allowed/not allowed to do. They had expectations and god dammit you were to met those. My parents had confidence that I could make my own decisions as I got older. If they were wrong, I would learn it. If they were right, they'd praise us.
I try not to stomp on other people's opinions (unless I think they are so far off and radical because someone needs to take that stuff down a notch). I don't like it when I get a dirty look from a parent when they see me drive up with my kids jamming out to Lil' Wayne. Get over yourself. I limit their tv and I don't let them watch graphic stuff. Do we watch the news with them? Yes. Do we talk about it, answer their questions? Yes. Do I expose other people's kids to it when they come over? No- I respect other people's parenting style. Which is just something I would expect in return. Which is funny because a lot of moms out there don't do that. I'm realistic, as my parents always were, of what the real world is like. I'm not going to shelter my kids from things because I don't want them to know about it. That's only give them a huge shock as they get older. Although I hope nothing bad ever comes their way, I know it will. I know they will struggle and let's be real- sometimes parents can't help. I know that. But I don't think that controlling what your kid is exposed to at an extreme level is really necessary. Be open with your kids. Talk with them. Have a relationship with them. They are smarter than you think.
Here was Jackson about two weeks ago. He was trying to say "cool boy" which hi- super cool and cute.
On to other things. Here are my new shoes! Aren't they the fucking hotness??? The only thing cooler than my PLAID Vans are the courduroy ones in like midget size. I love Vans. I have loved them since high school. My only beef is that they have gotten cheaper. In HS you could wear these things ever day, and the top of the shoe was cushioned which meant no blisters. I get blisters on the back of my heel when I wear these. I guess it'll be that way until I break them in. But whatever. They are awesome. Strangers in stores say my shoes are cool. So far the only person who says I look like "a retard" is my brother. Whatever. They are the hotness.