Just as Nora Fatehi grooved seductively to “Hila de hila de kamariya” on screen my Angel’s tiny waist swayed cutely in tune with it. The first time I witnessed this scene I felt my blood pressure shoot up with every passing second. Was this an apt song for a toddler to dance to? Did I make a mistake by allowing her to watch music channels in my absence? And the inevitable, was I doing enough as a mother?

Truth be told, the very next moment I was reprimanding myself for making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m an 80s kid and have grown up on a heavy dose of beautiful as well as potentially objectionable lyrics. Remember ‘Jumma Chumma De De‘ and ‘Meri pant bhi sexy‘? However, limited exposure to cable television ensured that ‘heavily edited’ Chitrahaar and Rangoli on Doordarshan provided my parents some respite. With today’s internet, YouTube and web series generation it gets a little tricky though.

The thing is, no matter how offensive and demeaning the lyrics, today’s songs have foot-tapping music which is hard to ignore. As parents we may feel the need to shield our kids from cringe worthy expressions but cannot always succeed. I managed to completely shut A Jr off songs like Bhaag D K Bose, Char Bottle Vodka, Baby Doll etc when he was younger. But Angel is the rebellious one and finds ways to extract his revenge. Sigh!

Making kids do what we want and yet feel victorious is a huge challenge for any parent. Yet, we have to accept that we can’t win every time. Both Aankh Mare and its remix are good and can be enjoyed together by us. Helen’s skimpy outfits never stopped us from watching and swaying to the lovely music. Bum chik bum (alright, not the video) is acceptable if we could dance to Mungda, yes? It is about laying ground rules and insisting our kids to follow them.

Our parents didn’t believe in explaining themselves and we never dared ask for it too, did we? I once got chastised for seeing Sadma while pretending to be asleep and was chided off for renting the Janbaaz video cassette without permission. When Dil Kya Kare played on television we were sent to the kitchen to fetch water for suddenly thirsty Dad. (No remote controls then, you see!) It all seems hilarious now, but boy, was I furious then! In retrospect though, it was wise of them and I would probably do the same.

It is fashionable to attach every single child-related thing to parenting nowadays. It might have its virtues but does it ensure that we’re indeed raising our kids well? Assuming that our parents did a fine job with us; do we have to over think and overdo everything? Yes, the world has changed but we’re still human and parents can exercise their authority up to some extent. Friends, activity classes or advertisements, they will have plenty of exposure to stuff we aren’t comfortable with. Practicing restraint firmly won’t be a bad thing. There, I said it!

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15 thoughts on “Music, dancing and kids

  1. Actually there are so many times we used to send in kitchen or back to bed to sleep or by ourselves we used to go to washroom because of these songs …I just loved the way you shared this

  2. You are right Varsha. Today’s generations like happy numbers, according to them soothing is more tends to feel bored. Personally, I don’t like today’s songs lyrics too and the presentation.

  3. Aah! I hear you. I think parenting is more challenging these days. While there isnt much difference between the parenting styles of our parents and ours today, because our values and principles are more or less the same. It’s just that execution strategies have changed today. We are more inclusive, patient, open and participative with our children.
    This made for an interesting read, Varsha!

  4. This post went a very different route than what I had expected! Honestly, I haven’t been in this situation yet, so I don’t really know how I would react.

  5. Couldn’t agree more! We have been brought up in an entirely different mindset, but today’s kids have their own way of life. Which is somewhat designed by us in a sense. However, I like the way you have put up this whole post.

  6. Those Chitrahaar days were the golden days. These days the exposure is too much. We need to filter it for our kids but at they same time music is music for such young kids. They would hardly pay attention or understand the lyrics till we make a big deal about it.

  7. We can only teach them.to choose right as far as we know.What they finally choose will be upto them.God gave parents because he truly couldnt take care of it all.Food for thought here.

  8. Yes Varsha, with so much access to the songs and video we parents cannot control to the larger extent. What we can do is explain the kids that these are not your age appropriate instead of saying they are not good.

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