Tonight my partner, Anthony, and I had an impromptu viewing and listening to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s Song, Wings, with our 3 boys over dinner. As a family, we ALL LOVE Macklemore! Anthony and I know why we love him and I guess we presumed the kids liked him for similiar reasons. NUP, they listened to the song and kind of got, kind of NOT got the message. They knew it was about a pair of shoes, NIKES, pretty much, then. FULL STOP. From there they pretty much thought it was a cool song, with a cool beat, from a cool musician!
Wow, I don’t think we’ve had a more involved, passionate and animated (but constructive) conversation in our house yet. I FULLY RECCOMEND IT!
Here’s what we did and I urge you to do the same with your young ones. Our boys are 6, 11 and 13 and each one of them was able to take something from the experience, not to mention what Anthony and I got to take…
Firstly, we all discussed what we thought the meaning of the song was from our last memories of hearing the song. Anthony and I then discussed our thoughts on the meaning with the boys; including how people were actually murdered for their shoes in America, in the 80s. This lead us to further discussion on other lyrics. Clearly the EDWARDS kids and their parents had very different interpretations of the song’s lyrics and their meanings.
We then asked the kids if they would listen to the song again and see if they get a different interpretation of the lyrics after our discussion. The kids were KEEN. Who wouldn’t be? Dinner, utube, music? How often do they get that opportunity?… So, we listened to the lyrics, paused when someone wanted to discuss or clarify a word and moved on for the entirety of the song.
Discussion followed about our “adult” and “child” interpretations: what’s the new NIKE? Is it VANS? Is it HURLEY? How do we get convinced of this consumerism? Do they know others who ONLY consume the latest brands? AND what does that really mean? Do the clothes/shoes we wear really make us cooler? Is it hurting anyone?
As a family when then split screen the computer (YEP, more technology at dinner…), watched and listened to Macklemore’s film clip and kept track of the lyrics at the same time.
I am not going to try to communicate what happened next, as I fear it will take from the learnings, insight and total blow away moments that you could potentially share with your children about this matter!
A final note though: WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO A PATH TO FOLLOW?
First and foremost, it generates family discussion and these types of moments are rare and priceless with your children. Secondly because consumerism (of our youth) is out of control. I don’t know if it is more out of control then when I was growing up, but I do know that our children are leading more complicated lives, experiencing more mental health illnesses and when you mix the pressures of consumerism and complexities of the pressures of today’s life together, it has real impact. I could go on about adults and consumerism, but of course, we are all aware of the examples we set our children in Consumerism. Right?
Links are below for your ease. I would love to know if you do this and how it goes.