We don't listen to mainstream radio around here.
Crazy, I know. It's just that some of the music on radio today isn't good for my kids' soul. Heck, it isn't even good for my soul.
Even though mainstream radio is not played around here, that's not to say my kids live in a bubble. They are very aware of popular music. They watch Vevo (mainly pre-approved playlists created for them) and have friends who know the latest music. We even listen to lots of pop and R&B music. I just try to be conscious of what we are playing. For example, we listen to a very small handful of C.hris Brown songs that I think fall in neutral territory. And if the lyrics just aren't appropriate, I will download an instrumental version if the beat is just too irresistible for them to resist.
Instead of listening to music based on its genre or the lifestyle of the entertainer, we look at the music for face value. There are lots of gospel songs sung by folks who are not living righteous lives and there is some gospel music that is not scripturally correct. This is why we don't live by the "gospel music only" rule that my church laid down as I was growing up. It's just not realistic to think that kids are going to only listen to church music when there's a whole world of great music out there.
A while back the boys asked to download D.rake's CD. I wasn't very familiar with D.rake's lyrics, so I downloaded a clean version. That should have been my first clue that things weren't right. The boys and I listened. I told them, we would have to cut D.rake out of the rotation because even though it was clean it certainly wasn't appropriate for them or me.
I'm sure most parents think me a prude. But I want my kids to watch what they're feeding themselves when it comes to entertainment.
Instead of telling the boys no right away when they ask to watch or listen to something, I ask them, "do you think this is appropriate?" Most times, they know the answer right away. I don't want to be the music or movie police because soon they'll be making their own entertainment choices. I'm hoping by giving them guidelines that they'll make good choices through the teen years and beyond. Plus, I know that when they do get filled with the Holy Spirit, He will convict them of their choices better than I ever could.
When I do have to say no, I do offer alternatives for them. I'm glad to say the alternatives are always enjoyed.
Here are some of the positive and/or Christian artists that the kids enjoy when mainstream music crosses the line:
They also enjoy lots of Kierra Sheard, Virtue (new music coming from them soon!), Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary and listen to 95.9 The Fish when we do turn on the radio.