Dad Takes Mom to Court for Bringing Daughter to a Pink Concert

kids attending concert age limitA dad in New Jersey is accusing his ex-wife of bad parenting because she took the couple's 11-year-old daughter to see a Pink concert. While the judge overseeing the bitter custody battle sided with the mom, the whole situation raises an interesting question: Is it bad parenting to expose kids to certain forms of pop music? 


Even if some songs don't contain profanity and explicit language, they can be pretty suggestive -- especially to impressionable little ears. But kids don't have to be taken to a concert to be exposed to it. Just attend a birthday party at a bowling alley and you're sure to get an earful.

And not every radio station is playing the family-friendly versions of songs either. Even when they do eliminate the f-bombs, there are other things to consider. A friend of mine with pre-teen twins wasn't thrilled when her son and daughter started using Pink's "My glass is empty. That sucks!" line to request refills at the dinner table. 

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As the judge in this case noted, attending a rock concert can be an amazing experience to share with your child but you have to wonder if maybe there should be an age limit? And if so, what is it?

You know going into it that not everyone in attendance will be acting in a way you'd like your tween to emulate. (My brother, in his mid-20s at the time, once came home from a concert and told us that the guy behind him threw up in the hood of his sweat jacket. Gross! Imagine that happening to your 11-year-old daughter??)

Sometimes kids are too young to even understand what they're hearing or pay attention to it anyway. One mom I know was upset when her 8-year-old daughter was singing Kesha's "brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack" lyric but she was quick to point out the little girl had no idea that the Jack in this case was a reference to Tennesse whiskey. Still, her school teacher probably wouldn't accept that as an excuse and this mom was grappling with whether to put a ban on certain radio stations in the car.

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It's tough to draw a line here because seeing a live show with your kids can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it could also be a disaster depending on whom you're sitting near. And try as you can to screen the songs that are played in your own home, chances are they're going to hear them on the radio during a carpool or at a friend's home. 

Having a chat with your kids to find out if they're even listening or understanding the lyrics -- especially if they're repeating them -- is probably a good place to begin.  

Do you think there should be an age limit for kids attending concerts?


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