I try to read in a wide variety of genres and to listen to different styles of music. I believe it's important to be well rounded. I also believe it is important to read what our children are reading and keep up to date on what they are putting into their minds. We tend to accept what we put into our minds as "normal."
As a parent, it was easier when my son was young and we could listen to childrens' songs. But when he reached the pre-teen years...that was different. I really hated some of his selections. Initially I tried to censor them. Then I remembered some of what I listened to..."Treat me like a fool...." I belted it out! The lyrics were horrible, but sadly they became a part of my psyche. It has taken hard work and counseling to change that.
What we put into our minds tends to shape out behavior and value system. It is important that parents know what their children are reading, watching, listening to, etc.
But it is also important that our children own and celebrate their taste in music and literature. So I came up with a compromise:
Three days a week, we listened to his music; three days to mine. The final day we shared. Both of us had VETO power if we just hated what the other was listening to. When I vetoed one of his songs, I told him why. I taught him to listen to the lyrics and opt not to put harmful thoughts into his mind.
On one of his days, a song played on our car radio. He quickly switched stations. I asked him why and he said, "Trust me, Mom, you wouldn't like that one."
I'm not naive enough to think he didn't listen when I wasn't around...after all, he knew the lyrics before I even registered with the song. But I do believe I taught him to be selective in what he put into his mind. Maybe as an adult he won't need as much counseling as I did!
As parents, you have both the right and the responsibility to monitor your childrens' activities. It isn't the most fun part of your job...but it has implications that last a lifetime.