Despacito and the Child

Despacito was playing one day and I little girl was dancing along to it. I was enthralled by it all. The words were pretty catchy and the music has a cool rhythm to it. I Youtubed it and learned the song in an hour. It was fun twisting my tongue to some Spanish I knew nothing about. My 6-year old caught up with my happy vibes and went along singing with me. I could see she was really interested, so I thought I would teach her the lyrics. As I usually do when I introduce a new song to her, I wanted to explain the meaning of the song. After all, emotions that come with the words is as important as the notes. At least, that’s how I look at music. I googled it. What I found out was quite disappointing. Let us just say, it was not what I wanted to know. It was not what I wanted my child to know.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Embarrassed, I apologized to my child for singing the song and told her the reason why it was not an appropriate song for us. Despite that, I took it as an opportunity to remind myself to be extra careful. Our lives are so saturated with many different forms of entertainment, many of which are subtle ones. So subtle things that many Christian families are unmindful of the trap until it’s all too late. It’s JUST music, right? C’mon, chill! I know but there is a certain connection between music and behavior. As someone who is immersed in music since young, I did not want to pretend that all kinds of music are harmless.

In this study on the impact of music on children, it says:

The effect that popular music has on children’s and adolescents’ behavior and emotions is of paramount concern.40 There is particular concern related to the lyrics of some genres of music and their effect on children and adolescents.3,10,11,4245

To learn more about this study, simply click the link above. You might learn a thing or two about the effects of music in children. When it comes to music that gets introduced into Christian homes, Despacito is not the only one that I found to be inappropriate. Thousands of music creep into our homes that promote sexual promiscuity, violence, racism among other things. These are music that needs to be avoided — music that should never be given a chance to influence young minds. And just like everything, we need to recognize that not all music is good. This is something we need to be careful about. Our children are like empty vessels. What we invest in them, we also reap. We can’t expect good to come out of bad influences. Our choice of music must also reflect the kind of life we want to have. Ellen White has this to say:

“Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when it is put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse”.[2]“Rightly employed, . . . [music] is a precious gift of God, designed to uplift the thoughts to high and noble themes, to inspire and elevate the souls.”[3]

As a Christian homeschool mom, I am responsible for what my children watch and listen to while they are in my care. Out of our mouths must come praise. Music is a powerful tool and it is up to us on how we use it. I pray that I have learned my lesson and will be more mindful of the choices I make.

So help me God.


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