As Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince once said, “So to you all the kids all across the land. Take it from me, parents just don’t understand.” While that might be true in some areas, now that I am a parent there are things that we do understand that kids might not realize. Yet, when it comes to music the disconnect between parents and kids can be longer than a football field.
I am not sure what is worse, my kids’ disgust to one of my favorite songs or when a song plays on the radio during a “retro rewind” that was my jam in college. Both make me feel old, but also admitting I listen to the radio makes me feel old as well. On the flip-side when it comes to my kids’ generation of music I feel like some of today’s music sounds like metal getting cut by a chainsaw. Here is how I found that talking to your kids about music makes a world of difference.
Learning About The “Oldies” Music
One day my oldest and I were driving to the store and running errands. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems came on the radio. My daughter could tell I liked this song. After the song was over my daughter laughed and said, “Is that your favorite song?” I told her it was not my favorite song, but it is up there. She asked me why I liked it so much. I shared with her that it was right around my senior year of high school and that song brings back a ton of fun memories. My friends and I went bonkers for the song when it first came out. I then shared a few other songs that were my jams back then. She was asking questions about the artists and why they appealed to me.
After a few songs and sharing my thoughts on each one she smiled. She told me that learning about the backstory of the songs and when they came out made her think the music wasn’t as cringy. I laughed and then we listened to a few of her favorite artists like Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo. I knew she really liked both artists, but wanted to know why just like she was interested in why artists like 2Pac and Outkast meant a lot to me.
The Artists Of Their Generation
As we were talking about Taylor and Olivia and what the songs meant to her I realized something. Sure on the surface the songs sound different, but the meaning and lyrics are similar. Love, pain, happiness, anger and joy are all part of how music can make us feel. We learn about each generation by the music they grew up on. It can help us connect to our kids and our parents. Learning why my daughters like certain artists helps me get a better glimpse into their world and what is going on in their lives at that moment.
I highly encourage you to talk with your kids about their music and your music. Share stories with them. Ask them the first time they heard a song from their favorite artist. Talk about how you discovered your favorite musicians. These conversations will bring you closer to them. It is a fantastic way to bond with your kids. Another way to bond with your kids is by playing Mind The Gap with them. Mind The Gap is a board game that challenges you and your friends to answer questions about popular TV shows, movies, music, slang, and news-worthy events. It has questions that span the generations of Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. I played that game with my wife, kids and father-in-law. Not only was the game entertaining, but we had fascinating conversations about each of our generations. To pick up Mind The Gap check out their site at solidroots.com
Please note: I teamed up with Solid Roots for this campaign, but my thoughts are my own.