There’s More To It. FILE PHOTO

To be tuned in where my kids are at

Whether it’s classic rock or a different genre of music, it’s crucial to be connected with your kids.

Shawn Acheson There’s More To It

A few days ago, my wife and I noticed that some great Canadian ‘Classic Rock’ acts such as Chilliwack and Kim Mitchell, would be performing that night at Red Deer’s Westerner Fair. I love live music, and I love the music of my era, so, for the price of fair admission, we found ourselves with premium floor seating. As we awaited the bands to begin, we quipped aloud how old we felt in this crowd, which garnered a concurrence from many of those peers around us in the crowd. Then, when the little white haired men of Chilliwack took the stage my wife quickly recanted our prior comments.

Of course, the bands were flawless, it would be hard for musicians who have been playing professionally for more than 40 years to produce sub-standard results. I loved hearing some of the favourites that I had long forgotten about, the whole experience brought about recollections of the many different moods, attitudes and events of my younger life.

Somehow, my parents didn’t share my taste in music, and it was a bit of a dividing point for me for a while. It’s a text book tale, “parents just don’t understand” and all the other cliché’s that are the underlayment for the rock and roll that I have always loved.

My oldest son is 10, and he loves music as much as I ever did. When we get into my car, his first goal is to get the radio onto his preferred station, and as many times as I have programmed my pre-sets to a ‘classic rock’ format, they always, mysteriously, are re-programmed with his preferences.

For a while I was disappointed that he was not a “rocker” like me, but I quickly regrouped my mindset. I don’t want to ever be irrelevant to my kids; if my outward things like music, or pop culture, are not reasonably in the present, then it is likely that my good advice and wisdom may be dismissed as “old school” and irrelevant to them. I have to work at liking the music and not comparing it to “what used to be.”

I avoid saying the things that hurt and offended me so much when I was younger “you call that music?” I figure that there will be many unavoidable road blocks in the long-term relationship with my kids, so I should work on eliminating the avoidable ones. I love my kids, so why not let my preferences take a back seat, and share in the present with them as best as I can. Oh, when I am alone in the car I’ll probably be singing along with Kim Mitchell, Chilliwack and the many more classics I love, but I’m trying to learn the songs from that pre-set too. In fact, in life and on the radio, I want to always be tuned in to where my kids are at.

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