These days fathers have to be ready for anything when it comes to their kids, be it a random food-fight in the kitchen or discovering they have a strange fascination with digging holes in the backyard.
But what’s the plan for when they dig through your old music collection and find CDs with the infamous Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics on the cover?
While your first reaction may be to freak out, try not to. As strange as it may sound, this can actually be a positive step in your relationship with your son or daughter. This assumes, of course, that you have decent taste in music.
It’s been reported that the new generation of fathers may share a lot more common interests with their children, particularly in movies and in music. One example of cross-generational media sharing was Beatles albums. Thanks to the video game Rock Band, the music of the Fab Four is being re-introduced to a new group of kids.
But getting to this level of music sharing doesn’t just happen overnight, nor does it occur when your old Public Enemy album is found by your son or daughter.
It happens through open communication and talking honestly with children about music and what it means to you. This allows the both of you to share the experience and for fathers to be there when their child first hears the lyric “fight the powers that be” from Public Enemy’s third album Fear of the Black Planet.
But be sure to explain what the group is angry about and put everything into context. With more music being put on a digital marketplace, the idea of whole albums is slowly fading away.
It may also be a good idea to bring in some history of the hip-hop genre and talk about the roots, its political leanings and how the music genre has progressed.
In fact, music history can be something a father can enjoy with his children. One place to start may be picking up the book Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop by Jeff Chang, which chronicles the early days of hip-hop, and reading it together.