Parents’ policing job gets even more difficult |

Parents’ policing job gets even more difficult

When it comes to being a good parent, it’s not only about knowing who your kids are hanging out with and what they’re doing, but also to what they’re listening.

A story in Monday’s Appeal reported on a study that determined that kids who listen to music with raunchy lyrics start having sex sooner than they otherwise would.

It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. The repetition of a message to cause an action is just good advertising. In this case, it’s for a bad cause that can only have undesirable outcomes, including teen pregnancies.

Other studies have found that ads for alcohol contribute to underage drinking, and the link between cigarette advertising and teen smoking is well known.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution when it comes to music. The recording industry spends a lot of money marketing music with explicit lyrics, and the only thing resembling a restriction are the labels that identify which music contains those lyrics.

The answer is not to ban those songs – there’s no way that censorship by the government can or should be allowed in a free country.

So once again the monumental task falls to parents. That task is not strictly censoring music lyrics, an impossible task in the age of iPods and music downloads.

While parents may be able to keep CDs labeled as having explicit lyrics out of their homes, the lives of many parents and teens these days are too busy for that kind of police action.

The answer here is the same one for keeping your kids off drugs: creating a trusting environment in which parents can have conversations with their teens and talk about the dangers of drugs and sex.