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10 to Twins

By Jessica T

About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manag...  (More)

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Pop music: the best thing about having a 10 year old

Uploaded: Dec 1, 2013
The pre-sets in our car are full. Exactly one is for National Public Radio and at least six are tuned to local pop stations. I'm re-living my youth, despite the fact that between the ages of roughly 14 and 36, I could not stomach the cotton candy pop of my girlhood.

I love every creation that these Swedish super powers pen for pop stars today. Do you know why? Because even I knew you were trouble when you walked in! My daughter and I pump up the music, and I belt it out to the boys I once knew. I see her in my rearview mirror singing to boys she'll one day know and trying on these complex expressions of rage and admiration.

I remember being 10 and knowing a canon of pop songs. Today, my daughter is no different. She need only hear a song once before she memorizes all of the words. We laugh together about the inane lyrics, like Icona Pop's "I crashed my car into the bridge. I don't care! I love it!"

My daughter has given me the gift of having musical relevancy again. And I have a window into youth today. After all, if Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl" isn't a conversation starter with your daughter...I don't know what is.

For the most part, I'm grateful to the pop stars of today. Many of them - Gaga, Katy, Taylor - sing songs with positive messages about being themselves, songs to bolster their listener's self-esteem. Take "Born This Way" or "Firework." On my worst days, picture me on the elliptical machine before work trying to build myself up as I remind myself "to show them what I'm worth."

What a departure from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" or "Material Girl"! As a ten year old, I remember my dance teacher announcing that we wouldn't be dancing to Madonna any longer because Madonna's messages weren't in keeping with her values. While that may have been true, tap class was suddenly a slog because we were no longer dancing to the voice of our generation (albeit not a very inspiring one?)

Next time you pull up at a stop light and see a mom and child bopping around to the latest hit single, think about tuning your radio to a Top 40 station. It might help you relate to your kids and get you through a tough week at work.

What avenues have led you to bond with your tween? How do you feel about the latest trends in pop music?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Tim , a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Dec 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

My daughter is a big fan of Owl City, Katy Perry, and Justin Timberlake. Her tastes now drive the family's, and it all shows up in my Facebook'd Spotify activity stream. A survey of my non-childbearing friend's social listening habits suggests that this trend isn't necessarily kid-driven. Methinks that a large portion of the population has a secret Pop habit...

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Dec 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

Interesting perspective. Our family's music of choice in the car for general listening tends to be Beatles, Queen, Meatloaf and other "oldies". Our kids love the music and are often amazed that we had such good music tastes! None of us like listening to radio stations, too many commercials and bad djs chatter, so on long journeys we plug in ipods to the car speakers and each of us has an hour of our own choice music.

Posted by Jessica T, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Dec 2, 2013 at 11:17 am

Jessica T is a registered user.

Tim - I suppose that's what Top 40 is all about!

Mother of 4 - I love the idea of adding an "oldies" station to the mix. My daughter adores the Beatles, and I'm proud that she can even identify a Nirvana song on her own. I wish I had your tip about allowing everyone to have an hour of family listening in the car this past holiday weekend. We enjoy audio books (for the whole family) on the road too.

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