Is music a part of your life? Was it when you were a teenager? Do you stream music any way… Pandora, Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Napster, Linewire? Wait… that might reveal my age. Let’s jump back to the 21st century.
Got music? Great! You have the best possible tool to connect with the tween(s) and/or teen(s) in your life. And here’s how.
I like to play a little game with my tween called “share.” Here’s how “Share” works. You get to play any song you want, from any place in time. Then, they get to play any song they want, from any place in time. Essentially we take turns sharing music with each other. I have found this is most effective when they’re trapped in the car. “Sure, you can listen to Khalid, but we’re going to play ‘Share’ first.” Usually this is met by a groan. And I have to admit it can sting when your idols are poo-poo’d. I mean, who doesn’t love Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream?” My kid apparently.
(IMPORTANT / COMMON SENSE: the person that is NOT driving manages the playlist. In no way should the driver be fiddling around with their phone while driving!)
This is such a great way to connect with your kid. To get a feel for where they’re at. they get a chance to be in charge. You get a chance to talk about language, or relationships, or why this sort of attitude degrades women, or how that beat can make you feel stressed when you actually aren’t. The door is wide open in terms of content to connect on. What used to be addressed via jokey euphemisms (think “Funky Cold Medina”) are now all but marketed by artists… have you heard “Highest in the Room,” by Travis Scott? Your tween/teen has. Google it. Listen. Read the lyrics.
In all honesty, “Share” doesn’t last that long. After 4 or 5 of “my” songs, we generally end up listening to Chainsmokers or Khalid. Kiddo gets sick of looking music up and my misremembering of titles, and I usually concede to my tween’s choice to keep the communication flowing. Plus, I really like Khalid! We both like to sing. It’s fun visiting their world.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking this would never work for your crew. And maybe it wouldn’t. You’ll never know until you try. And who knows. You might see Gorillaz or The Beatles show up on your kid’s playlist. The only downside I have experienced? Some of those old favorites might not hold up in the current era. Given the choice, go for remastered classics.
Rock on, jam out, and enjoy!