A few days back, my eight-year old son thrust his i-pod and head-phones and said, “Dada, listen; I think you will remove some songs from this.” When I asked him what was wrong, he insisted that I listen to understand. I listened. Wow! It was then that I realized... recently, my boy has been trying to learn and understand the different genres in music and to differentiate between the pops from the rocks, heavy metals from death metals, country from reggae, folk from rap and so on... he has been at it and has been engrossed exploring any music he can find, categorizing them, memorizing the lyrics and attempting to ape them in his guitar. Then there it was, the few songs he was doubtful about... Eminem, 50 cents, Slick Rick and others rapping and shouting out loud words like “FCuk”, “Sex”, “Sh1t” etc.,. What surprised me were not those words yet that my son had understood what they meant.
It would be easy for a crowd to blame it on the fault of the uncensored media or even the open and unrestricted availability of content or even at parents like me who leave children unattended in the name of giving them “the space”. Yet, trust me, no child is going to be ignorant for long and every child is going to grow up to understand the meaning of these and many such words that will make them parents one day.
Today, when my son stands with the guts that it takes to stand square and declare to me, ‘Hey Dad, these are words that I understand, what are you going to do about it?’ I can like any common sacrosanct, self-righteous, hypocritical scoundrel either tell him that those are “dirty” words and that he must have nothing to do with it and create an image of disgust and make him feel guilty and ashamed of anything having to do with procreation and successfully accomplish making him a hypocritical scoundrel as well OR as I decided to do, hand over the music device and coolly tell him that now that he knew what those words meant I trust that he would know why and when he should or shouldn’t be using them and that I would not be deleting them and it was up to him to decide whether he wants to listen or not listen to those songs. His eye widened with surprise, as that was definitely not what he expected to hear and he whistled a song and walked away a little older. Kids will be kids and I am so glad my son and I had this little conversation.
Is sex such a dirty thing that we end up making everyone feel so guilty about it?