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Conquer the Giant: Lessons from Justin Bieber and Eminem

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Justin Bieber is big in my house:  my 4 year old daughter loves his music and my 5 (almost 6) year old son loves it too.  Their favorite song is “Never Say Never.”  I thought this was because it was from the Karate Kid and they are obsessed with Drai aka Jaden Smith.

But turns out that’s not why.

Recently, my 5 year old was listening to my ipod; he told me has a new favorite artist – Eminem – and his favorite song is “Not Afraid.”  Why?  My 5 year old said Eminem makes good arguments and he likes his words.  So, he tells me matter of factly, he now has two favorite songs.

Reflecting on our conversation on the way to work today, I see why he likes both songs.   “Not Afraid” and “Never Say Never” have the same theme and lessons:

  • Standing up for what you believe in is the right thing to do;
  • Doing the right thing can be hard sometimes;
  • But, you should do the right thing anyway;
  • Those who love you, will support you through the tough times;
  • When you find the strength to do the right thing, you will prevail; and
  • With hard work and persistence, you will succeed.

These lessons go along with the values we try to instill in our kids.  For example, we teach them to be leaders not followers; the word “can’t” is forbidden in our house; and success takes practice, patience and perseverance.  Also, I try to set an example as I do #thejuggle.

It just never occurred to me that my kids would be inspired by Eminem.  Not out of disrespect for Eminem, but because my kids are so young.  I like that they are making their own choices, reinforcing the lessons we teach with other sources.

Even though we are grown-ups now, we can all remember that it is hard to be a kid – be it riding the bus to camp for the first time, making new friends or standing up to a bully.  I am proud that my children have confidence and the words of Artists like Eminem and Justin Bieber resonate with them.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So, I sit here at work smiling, wowed and humbled by my children at the same time.



ps — a tip to other parents out there:  make sure you download the non-explicit versions of songs on iTunes or, from experience, you’ll have some explaining to do.  :0

photo credit: Hollywood Hotspot

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