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Help your child make musical choices you can both live with
my son and I were in our car and the radio was tuned to the local Christian radio station. At the time, my son was 13 and a fan of rap and grunge--a chord-heavy sound made popular by a band called Nirvana. While I don't remember the name of the song playing, I do know the band was Petra, a decades-old act that helped put Christian rock on the musical map.
Suddenly my son blurted out, "Dad, I don't get it!"
I was pretty sure he wasn't talking about lyrical content. He'd been in Bible school all his life, and he'd made a profession of faith when he was 8. He never missed youth group or a church retreat. But something about the music just didn't click.
"What don't you get?" I asked.
"The sound. It's so old."
Undoubtedly, my son's words capture a basic problem we parents face when attempting to talk to our kids about music: They don't get our music and we certainly don't get theirs. It's not a new problem. Just think back to your own teen years. In those golden oldie days, you may have enjoyed tunes from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, Eagles, Billy Joel, or Bruce Springsteen. Of course, our parents and other "old people" over 30 didn't get it. I remember the barber in my hometown saying, "You call that music? This stuff you kids listen to sounds like somebody's in a dentist's chair screaming!"
But there's more to the musical question than a generation gap. There are good reasons to be concerned about popular tunes, like the raunchy, violence-laced (and best-selling) rap of …