For those of you who don’t know today is my birthday! (Sounds of a cheering crowd). That’s right I’m twenty-seven years old and I’m feeling that weird tension of wanting to be closer to my earlier twenties than I am to my impending thirties! Anyhow, I thought I’d have some fun this morning by making a shout out to one of my favorite thrash metal bands. You guessed it! The infamous Metallica! These guys were a godsend, if I may use that term loosely when I was teenager.
Now, it may be a little controversial even for an Atheist to expose their children to heavy thrash metal at the wrong time. My theory is that mature parenting, when I become one, will be the ability to recognize just when my teens are beginning to feel the weight of the human struggle. It seems to me that many religious homes rarely if ever make room for this in people’s lives and I happen to think it is quite disingenuous to just ignore it.
From experience I can tell you that for my past self and many others when they will have reached their teens it is important to create an outlet for expression. Not violence, that’s not where I’m going with this. Simply the expression of anger and dismay toward an absurd world. This can be done rather creatively in my opinion. Yes, thrash metal is by nature a very aggressive style of music with a good measure of anger spilling through the mic. However, there are some positives to it. The anger within this genre is often highlighting actual injustices within the world. Things that humans of every age find terribly hard to reconcile with goodness as well the messages of religion and politics. Anyone seeing the potential for some great talking points to have in the home?
Though I wouldn’t advocate for every family to expose their teen to this style of music the main point that I want to drive home here is that it is vital to come alongside loved ones and other people when they struggle than it is to provide no outlet at all for anger, sadness, happiness and joy. This can be a folly within highly strict and conservative families. They want to cover up so called depravity so much that there is no room to even breath! It is this kind of treatment of teens that unleashes a whirlwind of fury and violence in many cases. It is a classic knee-jerk reaction and that my friends is bad parenting!
A parent that is understanding and empathetic, a parent that is open and communicative with their children and teens from the start will likely be able to deepen that bond with them when the shit hits the fan! Providing various options for expression and seeking to simply understand what the hell is going on is key. Notice that this is not me advocating a parenting style that doesn’t still operate in an authoritative manner from time to time. Parents simply need to choose their battles wisely otherwise they will likely lose the trust of their son or daughter.
So yeah, this is just one 27 year old’s opinion on the role of certain kinds of music being able to connect deeply to the human struggle. The human struggle starts rather young so let’s be honest about it and face these things head on!