Pop Culture and My Kids: Where Do We Grow from Here?

Duran Duran or Justin Bieber? Photography by Pink Sherbert Photography via Flickr (CC)

Disco Mickey Mouse. Strawberry Shortcake. Little House on the Prairie. Emergency!Duran Duran. Stephen King books. River Phoenix. When I think back to all the pop culture obsessions that helped guide my way from childhood into the teenage years, I think my parents (and my potential geek factor) got off easy. It’s a nice, gentle, somewhat macabre transition, equal parts girly and grisly, pop and pout and it definitely had a big hand in shaping the person I became.

A love of music and books, mystery and history still rule my pop-culture and art-addled brain, and when I look back at these stepping stones, I can’t help but also look forward, at the two small girls sitting on the floor playing together, and wonder where their interests will turn.

I’ve seen the transition already beginning in my six-and-a-half-year-old: she’s moved on from Treehouse and princesses to Barbie videos and well, Barbie dolls. Fancy Nancy certainly holds her attention now, but as her ability to read begins to catch up with her love of books, I intently wait to see the genre she will gravitate towards in the coming years. Music is always present in our house, and while I tried to balance the kids’ music CDs (I know—many of you will hate them, but I wrote a lot of the songs on the CDs we listen to, so I do have a soft spot for them) with a generous helping of regular old music music, their preferences are already shining through.

It’s exciting to see. I can’t wait to find out what, if any, of our influences permeate the preteen years, or if I’m going to spend a good deal of the next decade rolling my eyes and trying not to cringe. I suspect it will be a little bit of both.

Will our indie-household cred be compromised as my daughters swoon over the latest version of Justin Bieber, or will I be begging for Bieber Fever as the girls kill brain cells going crazy for the Pussycat Dolls 2.0?

Did my own parents think they should have turned up the volume a little bit more on their Hooked On Classics records as I crooned “Eternal Flame” into my hairbrush?

Of course, I do have my parents to thank for my love of ABBA and all things folk, so it’s possible that the hours and hours my children have been subjected to Belle and Sebastian EPs could stick, and they’ll still think it’s cool once they’re teenagers.

The down side? By then it’ll be considered classic rock.

Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of canadianfamily.ca.

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