Stories from a parent...
So, My 7 Year Old and Twerking
My little girl is constantly dancing. CONSTANTLY! It doesn't matter where she's at or who she's with. If she feels the beat, she will drop it like it's hot on the spot. Just like she did this time when she was five years old...
Jami and I are pretty sure Mo walks around with a giant boom box running through her head. If you could look inside I'm sure you'd find a version of MTV or VH1. If you could hook up speakers to her ears, I'm sure you'd hear music streaming 24-7. Even now, at age 7, whether there's audible music or not, she could stop where she's at and break it down like she's starring in the show, So You Think You Can Dance. And the crazy thing is...
She CAN... and she KNOWS it.
It doesn't matter where she's at. She could be walking in the Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago... if she feels it, boom... she drops it like it's hot. If she's at home and she hears and feels it, boom... you got it... she drops it like it's hot. AND... if she's at the pool... well, especially if she's at the pool where there's music playing on their boom box... yep, she's dropping it like it's hot. In fact, at one point at the pool, while she was getting down, I looked over as she was... that's right...
TWERKING! My freaking 7 year old was TWERKING. And she knew she was TWERKING because she was telling her friend that she was TWERKING!
Talk about being horrified! In that moment I could hear all of the parents' judgmental comments running through their minds. It was a parenting wake up call! My 7 year old knows how to twerk!? What. The. Crap!?
After yelling across the pool and giving Mo the silent death stare to stop, that got me thinking...
What themes is my 7 year old daughter experiencing? Whether it's tv shows, music or friends, what themes is she experiencing? Adult or age-appropriate? What's the storyline in the Disney shows she's watching? What's the message in the music she's listening to? Mo loves Taylor Swift. We love Taylor Swift. And there are songs that Taylor Swift sings that are age-appropriate for Mo to listen to. But, there are also songs that Taylor Swift sings that have adult themes that Mo just shouldn't be listening to.
Because adult themes cause Mo to grow up faster than God intended her to grow at age 7.
We can't protect Mo from every adult theme. She's not with us 24-7. But we can protect her from the ones we know about and need to redirect her towards age-appropriate themes.
It means that we have to actually work at this thing called parenting. We actually have to put some effort into it. It means monitoring the content of the shows she watches and the music she listens to. As a result, we've also been listening to more "church" music, as Mo calls it. It's actually been fun, because she's been asking for "church" music when it's just been our family in the car AND when she's had a friend ride along as well.
So it's a win... trading in twerking for age-appropriate themes. And hopefully Mo can "Shake. Shake. Shake. Shake it Off. Shake it Off." for good.
Cause Mo doesn't need to grow up any faster than she already is.