Rock music didn't hurt mommy, so how can it hurt the baby?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | 9:04 a.m. CST; updated 11:27 a.m. CST, Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I recently celebrated my 26th birthday. I realize 26 is far from being "old," but I already find myself feeling a bit dated. One of the reasons for this, believe it or not, is rock music.

Rock music today is nothing like the stuff I grew up with. It's tame. A lot of it's just whiny. Most of it lacks any of the adrenaline-pumping qualities that I associate with a good tune.

I suppose that I should be grateful for this, because as a mother I should be monitoring what my baby hears. I guess I'm supposed to sing him nursery rhymes and play audio books for him, and make him listen to classical music so he'll grow up to be a genius.

But what if mommy just wants to head bang?

I can thank my parents for this musical conundrum I’m stuck with. They didn't change their music-listening habits when my brother and I were young. I grew up listening to classic rock from the '60s and '70s. Some of my earliest memories are set to the songs of such bands as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. There were countless Friday nights in our house where Mom and Dad would turn up the radio and we'd all dance in the living room.

So I suppose it was a fairly natural transition for me when I got into high school and suddenly, all these great new metal bands became popular. They were raw, full of adrenaline and angry at the world. That's what defined my high school years: angry music. (I have yet to figure out why my generation was so angry, or what we were even angry about.)

Like many people before me, the music of my formative years has stuck with me. It’s what I like. I often have the radio tuned into the local rock station when I’m tinkering around the kitchen or driving in my car, and there are times when I just can’t resist turning it up to 11 and rocking out.

According to the experts, though, this is bad for my baby. Most of us have probably heard that listening to classical music is supposed to make a baby smarter; likewise, listening to angry music is supposed to give a child a bad attitude. And according to Child’s Genius Magazine, the publication of the International Parenting Association, listening to rock music will basically turn my child into the devil.

Really? Bad behavior is caused by listening to certain types of music? Sounds suspicious to me. Last I checked, bad behavior was a result of poor parenting. But then again, maybe I am getting old.

It’s hard for me to take these studies seriously when rock music is so delicious to my ears. Rock-n-roll has become so embedded in my DNA that I’ll be amazed if my son isn’t genetically predisposed to random air-guitaring. I guess I’ll have to trust my gut on this one. The only question now is, what bands should I introduce him to first?

Surely Ozzy Osbourne has some lullaby material, right?

Jen Russell is a news editor at the Missourian. When she's not busy destroying her eardrums, she welcomes your comments at

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