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OMG! My Kids Want to Ride Disco Sticks

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I was driving the girls to camp and rocking out to Lady Gaga. All of a sudden, Isabelle, our six-year-old, asked me, "Mommy, what IS a disco stick?"

mom and kids inside a car

Elizabeth Thorp: The other morning, I was driving the girls to camp and rocking out to Lady Gaga on the radio. Life was good -- we had no major meltdowns that morning, lunches were packed, we were on time, and the girls weren't fighting in the backseat. I was feeling quite smug. All of a sudden, Isabelle, our six-year-old, asked me, "Mommy, what IS a disco stick?" Lucy, our five-year-old, turned it up a notch and whined, "Why can't we ride the disco stick?? You NEVER let us do anything!"

I spit up my Starbucks, tried desperately not to laugh, and tried to think of an appropriate response. After a few moments, I told the girls that "Disco Stick" is a grown-up game that sometimes was boring (sorry, honey, I'm referring to the times when moms are sooo exhausted that sleep trumps everything, even a hot hubby) ... that it was much more fun to play dress-up, mommy and baby, or dance to "High School Musical." Before they hit me with follow-up questions, I threw out a major distraction: "Does anyone want to watch 'Mamma Mia' and have family movie night tonight??" Squeals of excitement and enthusiastic endorsements of mommy ensued. Phew!

These tough and uncensored questions from kids happen to all parents periodically. What is the best way to answer these questions, and what if it happens in public? Is it okay to fib?

Michelle Golland, a momlogic expert and clinical psychologist, summarized her thoughts by offering a Joseph Campbell quote: "I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." The bottom line is, as a mom, you know what the best answers are, whatever works for you as a family and is age-appropriate for your children. Then write it down for their rehearsal dinner toast!

One practical lesson I have learned from the Lady Gaga Disco Stick kerfuffle is keep to soft rock stations, or better yet, pop in a Justin Roberts CD, our favorite children's pop music without the phallic references, thank you very much!

next: Heartbroken Gorilla Welcomes New Baby
56 comments so far | Post a comment now
T August 5, 2009, 8:33 PM

At least they didn’t ask about the Lady Gaga “love you with my muffin” reference!!!

This is nothing new. When I was ten i watched the Golden Girls with my Grandma and asked her what the Kama Sutra was.


abbi August 5, 2009, 8:55 PM

why would you be listening to lady gaga in the first place? are you teaching your children to grow up and say and do outrageous things to hide their lack of talent?
the reason your kid asked you about the ‘disco stick’ is because you were dumb enough to play it in the first place.

susie August 5, 2009, 9:21 PM

Funny!abbi, you need to get a life and stop sweating the small stuff…

One time my 4 year old boy asked me what the dots were on my “behind” — meaning my cellulite. Ack!

Anonymous August 5, 2009, 10:02 PM

raise them on classic rock like I did.

cg August 5, 2009, 10:16 PM

this is why parents have to be cautious about the type of association we allow around our children, this by the way includes- our choice of entertainment via radio, t.v., DVD’s, the internet and of course telephonically. these influences can sometimes be harmful if not screened, so when you hear a song spewing suggestive, lewd or just raunchy lyrics turn it. if you’re not saying stuff like that in the home- then they don’t need it introduced by lady gaga, britney spears etc. you are their first line of defense. it’s not “stifling” them - it’s called parenting.

willow August 5, 2009, 10:57 PM

We can’t keep our kids in a cave, right wing moms. Its on the radio all day long and who doesn’t love top 40. Ever heard of KidzBop??!! Our family love Justin Roberts too although the crazie moms will probably find fault with that somwhow too!

Wendi August 5, 2009, 11:44 PM

I have a tween and a teen and a 3 yr old and we do not listen to any of that type of music. Mostly we listen to christen or country. I think a lot of that other music has crap in it that the kids just don’t need to hear. I do not believe that they are being over sheltered, but just not allowed to have their minds warped by horrible music.

Jessica August 6, 2009, 12:13 AM


Chuckjones August 6, 2009, 12:17 AM

It’s “bluffin’ with my muffin.” She’s referring to thinking of a woman while having sex with her boyfriend.

tom August 6, 2009, 12:50 AM

I honestly don’t think it’s such a bad idea to set a good example for your kids and not listen to that crap.

When Isabelle is 15 and she’s singing that song before her date with Ricky are you going to be feeling the same way?

Kell August 6, 2009, 1:07 AM

Personally, I was raised with a mixture of top 40 and classic stuff (I’ve been to three Billy Joel concerts with my mom as well as 2 NSYNC concerts, diversity much?) Currently I nanny for a 3 year old who LOVES our local top 40 station, which is probably the most adorable thing ever. While I understand why some would want to avoid pop music, I will say this: chances are pretty good that one day your child WILL start listening to this music, and when they ask questions like the one in this post, would you rather it be you they’re asking, or one of their friends?

MomOf4 August 6, 2009, 1:11 AM

We listen to Lady GaGa bc it’s popular right now. And when my 6yr old asked me about that, I just said it was a grown up game and she was like “oh”. We talked about it and she knows it’s not something to repeat outside of the song. And puuuhhhlleaase, do you not think they hear about this stuff at school!?! I’d rather she talk to me about it and get it right than guessing with her friends!!

Anonymous August 6, 2009, 9:02 AM

Guess I’m in the minority, but we don’t listen to those things in our house (or car). If the answer to your child’s question makes you uncomfortable and makes you lie, why are you listening to it in the first place?

lily August 6, 2009, 1:11 PM

it’s sad that this stuff is unavoidable. when my 15 year old was 6 there was a spew of indecent rap songs that came out. He’d ask me, “mommy what does this mean?” worst thing was that in my house (or car) the top 40 stations were banned…. It horrible to know that even if you want to prevent it, sometimes it still happens

Maya August 6, 2009, 1:32 PM

I don’t think listening to the top 40 or pop radio stations is bad at all for kids. I mean, I grew up listening to pop stations with a mix of reggae, raving music, and david bowie (thanks to my dad) when i was growing up. I have such a diverse taste in music now, and I thank my parents for that. I remember hearing the ‘thong song’ when i was like 5 and ‘hit me baby one more time’, i personally never gave the lyrics a second thought, and i honestly remember not knowing what the singers were saying. And I know that my parents have lied to me on numerous accounts on stuff that had sexual references or anything to do with for that matter. Thats not wrong to lie to your kids about the the stuff they shouldn’t know about. They most likely will believe you and wont think about it. Pop radio is catchy and everyone loves it, there’s nothing wrong with listening to Lady GaGa, even if her lyrics are sexual, she has great songs!

KaseyZ August 6, 2009, 2:35 PM

My kids listen to all kinds of music. If something’s not appropriate I let them know and change the station. Even classic rock can cause issues. My kids asked me what a “midnight toker” is…I said, hmmm, I’m not familiar with that term!

Nicole August 6, 2009, 4:05 PM

Lol it’s quite ironic that this story has been posted, as my almost 2 year old was riding in the car with me the other day when “Birthday Sex” came on. She was humming along when she blurted out (more clear than most her words I might add) “SEX”. I was mortified! However, I quickly laughed cause it’s only a big deal when we make it a big deal. She doesn’t know what it means. As far as the disco stick thing, come up with something clever and cute. Music is an art meant for interpretation…blah blah blah. Bottom line, it’s not a big deal. Kids are gonna hear these things at some point, I would rather my child ask me than ask their friends!

Lara August 6, 2009, 4:26 PM

LOL just stop them when they try to dress like her

Snell August 6, 2009, 10:54 PM

Funny story and good message! Lady Gaga rocks!!!!!

Cougarwife August 7, 2009, 9:58 AM

That is a great story, when my now 13 year old daughter was about 5 or 6 she was all of a sudden singing a certain Afro-Man song and I was horrified, that’s all she needs to sing around my Mother and her Christian classmates! Then I listened to what she was singing and started laughing because she was saying “Because I got hot” not the other thing!

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