Bad Songs on iPod

Updated on January 21, 2011
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
16 answers

My 9-year old stepdaughter has a mom who definitely thinks differently than her dad and I do. She puts horrible songs on her iPod! Songs with swear words, including the F-word, and songs about sex from Lady GaGa and Ke$ha. They are all party songs about drinking and getting naked. She doesn't put the edited or radio versions on, she gets the full explicit version.

My husband has talked to her about it and she won't change. She said it's HER iPod that she gave to her daughter and she can put whatever she wants on it. It's been a source of contention and we've dropped it because right now things are good between her mother and us. We basically have her most of the time (she's better off here) and she's good about switching days if we need to. She's allowed us to homeschool without a fight so we made the decision to not make it into a big deal and push the issue more. It's always better to keep things civil and only push the really important issues. They used to have 50-50 custody and now she's only there every other weekend. She is much happier here as well.

She listens to her iPod all the time and she sings along with these songs. I've talked to her about it because it really disgusts me hearing her sing the suggestive lyrics. She sings that Ke$ha song with the line "I'm gonna be naked, and you're wasted!" So gross! When she's in her room or brings her iPod with I can't stop her from listening to whatever's on it. I know she's not singing those lyrics in front of me, but she's still doing it in her room.

My husband and I are on the fence about what to do. One idea is to ban the ipod at our house. She can listen to it at her mom's house (because it is her mother and she got her the iPod) but not here. That would limit her exposure, but I know it would upset her (she doesn't really understand why we don't like those songs and it's hard to explain without making her mom look like a giant negligent idiot. It is her mother, after all). The other is to buy her either another iPod or an iPod Touch for her birthday (which isn't for a while). Then we'd be in control over the songs that went on it. She could still listen to her iPod at her mom's house but at our house she'd listen to the other iPod. However, iPods and iPod touches are kind of expensive and that's all she'd get for her birthday. I know she wants an American Girl Doll party and she wants a doll.

It's hard to talk to a child about something when one parent has said it's okay and the other has not. Then the child is in the middle, pulled between both parents. We're trying to avoid that.

Other ideas? Again, talking to her mom has NOT worked and we're not going to go to court or demand it of her. When it comes to dealing with a divorce situation, we've realized that you can not control what the other parent does and it IS their child. Unless we thought her life was in danger, which is a different story. We like to try to control our end as much as possible, the key to sanity is to control what you can and not try to control things that you can't!

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answers from Houston on

I dont have any advice but i just wanted to say, i HATE kesha. She is the worst thing thats happened to music in the last 10 years.!



answers from Phoenix on

I agree with talking to her about the suggestive songs, letting her know why it makes you uncomfortable (yes, that means talking about alcohol, drugs and sex with her) and helping her understand that the music is ok, just not so great when lyrics like those come out of a kid's mouth.
If you really object to the music she's listening to, have her help you make a "Mom's house" and a "Dad's house" playlist. No need to buy another iPod.

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answers from Albany on

Hi NS, we are a very musical family. I feel music is art. I have NEVER censored any music whatsoever. It is a huge part of our family life.

However, you are right on suggesting there are lyrics which a child of any given age is not able to process appropriately.

Which is VERY often, in fact even though my kids are 18, 16, 13, there are still lyrics I wish they didn't have to hear.

This is what we do to combat them. We TALK about EVERYTHING. We discuss the likely meaning of lyrics, we wonder together the mindset of the writer of the lyrics, we understand they are not always a suggestion of how to live your life. We compare them to OTHER lyrics, we compare them you our actual life. We remember SELF EXPRESSION is VERY important and we ALL have the right to it.

I can honestly say, if you do this with your DD, she will not become a slut because she listens to music with a sexual content. She will not become a junkie because she listens to music refering to drug use. She will not become an alcoholic because she listens to a few lines describing drinking.

Especially, as Leslie said, OPEN DOOR communication takes the mystery out of everything.

Best thing to do, is kick off your shoes and dance WITH her one the kitchen floor! Lighten up a little!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Nothing you can do. It's Pop culture and most kids do hear it.
You aren't the custodial family and so her Mom can do what she likes in this matter.
I think you are on to something buying her an IPOD touch for your house. She has to leave it with you when she goes home to her mother.
It takes children a long time to realize that the reason their parents got a divorce is because they did not agree. This is an area of disagreement.

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answers from Biloxi on

Oh, I agree, much of the music our children are listening to is inappropriate.

I have a 14 year old boy who only listens to popular music BUT, we talk about the lyrics and I tell him what I find disrespectful to women, himself, etc. I let him load whatever he wants onto his MP3 and I don't ban any music. I have explained that music is entertainment, not a code to live by.

The way I handle it is to introduce him to other music. I put on different radio stations, and play albums at home that run the gambit from Bach to Zepplin and keep the lines of communication open open open. The end result is that he listens to other genres of music now.

So teach your daughter about other music. Play other things at home and in the car, take her to the symphony, a theatrical musical, etc. Force yourself to listen to "her" music - I do and then say things like "Oh, really, they just sang that!!! How rude!" The first time I did that my son looked surprised and asked me what was wrong with it - Viola, a teachable moment.

When we ban things from our children it heightens the interest in the banned thing. You don't need to buy her another Ipod - just buy her an Itunes gift card, and together select other music to add to her Ipod.

Good Luck and Happy Listening.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I haven't read the other responses, but I would suggest getting her another ipod for use at your house. You can get them fairly cheap. The one her mom got her she can use at her mom's house, and the one she has at your house you can make sure has edited versions of songs you are comfortable with.
I wouldn't fight this too much, since it seems you have a pretty good thing going with the mom, but she is pretty firm in her decision to allow her to listen to these songs.
Pick your battles. Remember, the mighty oak cracks in the wind, but the willow sways and grows strong. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

I say get it and delete the dirty songs off of it.
or get her an MP3 player and put music you and her father approve of on it and tell her the ipod stays at mom's house cause you don't want that filth in your house. That just because her mom thinks it appropriate for a 9 yr old to be listening to songs that have a mature rating on them ,and explain to her the music rating system, it doesn't mean that they really are good for her.
Broaden her music spectrum. put in some oldies, classical, classic rock,etc. She may find she prefers those.
My 9 yr old has a Sansa Fuze it looks kinda like an ipod and does all the things an ipod does except it also records and has a radio feature. They run under $100.

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answers from Savannah on

I remember my dad being kinda upset about my songs when I was about 12....."Pour some sugar on me", "Shake me", etc etc. Honestly, I loved singing the songs but didn't really get what they were saying. I thought dad was kinda weird.
Just so ya know, Walmart sells a mp3 that holds 600 songs for $29.99; I just bought it for my 4 year old son because it costs that to buy a cheap radio / CD player. Figured better to just plug this mp3 player into some speakers and pick out the songs we like than to run around buying CDs everywhere for just a couple songs on each one. Doesn't have to be too fancy or a brand name, especially at that age. My son's $30 mp3 plays songs as good as my husband's $200 ipod, just holds "only" 600 songs.
You can look up the lyrics (just type in the song title-lyrics in your search engine) because if you're like me, you can't understand half the lyrics in some of these songs anyway.....explain that while it is catchy, it's singing about things that are really off.
I would explain WHY in a manner you think she can get at her age. It's important to actually say why, otherwise you're just old and gripey, like I thought dad was. Her mom wants to be cool and have fun with her daughter, but you guys feel that you need to um, be parents. Teach her how to think for herself and not go along with things just because marketing companies say you should......I would honestly tell her that in age appropriate language. I remember being very upset as a young "rebellious" teenager when I saw something about how a bunch of old suits at a meeting table were planning how to get me to spend my money and determining what was cool in the media. I about fell out. I stopped rushing out to buy the latest thing and started being a little more bull headed about it. Is it cool because I think so, or because someone is targeting me for my babysitting and Burger King income? (ha) Tell her that singing songs can get you thinking it's right or normal, and you can get yourself into trouble or get hurt, or end up with friends or a boyfriend that don't respect you. The best thing to do would be to say "Who am I? What do I want to stand for? What do I want people to think of when they see me? What kind of people are important to be my friends?" It may sound too deep for that age, but I don't think so. It's important to start communicating so she understands that even if she doesn't agree, you have reasons. That goes a long way in developing credibility and having a voice in a few more years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Yes, purchase an Ipod for you to have while she is at your home. You pay for it, you control what is loaded on it. Her other Ipod can stay home at her Mother's house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Set up an itunes account at your house. Or ask her if she knows her moms. Use an i tunes card to load songs. Make a section on her ipod, songs at dad's house. Pick and choose songs you both like. There are explicit songs that she shouldn't be listening. The same song in radio verse can be played. No bad words. If setting up an account at your house isn't possible. (Sometimes it easers whats already on there.) Get her an itunes card to buy songs you agree on at her mom's house. Listen to the songs and make a list for her to buy with it.

My 9 year came and told me last night saying a song I downloaded for her had a bad word in it. I asked her what the word was, it was dam. If one had the f-word, she wouldn't want to listen to it.

I agree with you 9 year old should not be singing about sex or bad words. They don't get the sexual implications. They will if they are exposed to it. They grow up to fast anyway.

Side note; My kids love the ipod touch, educational games are great.


answers from Minneapolis on

As others said, I would make a new rule, that the "mom" ipod needs to stay at Moms..and get her a different, generic one for your place. We are not "i" anything at our house (iphone, ipad, mac, etc....) so before getting our Zune players (Microsoft version, with a $15 a month all we want music subscription for 3 players in our household)..we had generic ones and I loved mine! Make her leave that one at your place. Challenging at first, but not impossible.

Then I would push the AG doll mentality. They teach values and a chance to stay young. Push all of that. All of my young nieces are all really into this and are remarkable little ladies. Their moms and dads love these ideals to assist in teaching manners, honesty and other moral and behavior codes of conduct!

Good luck!



answers from New York on

JMO... I would not allow her to listen to those songs while she is in your house. Explain to her the reasons why.



answers from Tucson on

Create a playlist on her ipod titled Dad's house or something like that and let her put as much non offensive music on it as possible. Let her know that she can listen to her other playlists around mom but at your house she has to abide by your rules which forbid suggestive lyrics. There is really no need for two devices...she is old enough to understand that she is expected to follow the rules (which are fair) and that if she doesn't the mp3 player stays at moms.



answers from Washington DC on

Let her know that these lyrics are unnacceptable and does she want other people to know her as the girls hwo sings those dirty songs.
I tell my kids when I think a neighbor is being disrespectful or immoral. I have said to the kids we don't listen to that, we dont' do that, we dont' watch that.
Then get her an iPod for your house, put TobyMac on it. He is wonderful, it's dance music and it's good clean Christian.

Oh and there are cheaper mp3 players, get her one of the Sanyo versions. Their just as good.



answers from San Francisco on

Since her mother thinks it's ok and she has been listening to it, I think talking to her about why you don't like the lyrics is the best option. Ask her why she likes the songs? Likes the beat, it's popular, etc? I think the most important part is the conversation you have. At some point she will decide what she thinks. My oldest two started with stuff like that (not quite so young). Now my three teens listen to mostly country. They like songs with stories, they don't like the poor descriptions of women, glorifing of violence, etc. It's probably best for them to come to these conclusions on their own with our guidance because then it becomes their belief, not our belief that they are copying. So maybe you are just starting this process a little younger than most. It's where you end up that matters. Good luck!

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