I’m sure we are all familiar with Megan the Stallion’s Savage song by now because the world has Tic-Tok to death! While the song may be catchy to some it is important to think about the lyrics. I'm sure when songs like Savage and similar are created, it not predicted that they will used in challenges or viral videos. During vulnerable times that have resulted in quarantining, when there is confusion, chaos, and uncertainty, children are sponges more than ever. I have seen many of us participating in the Savage challenge on Tik-Tok. Of course we are not the only ones participating. It is all fun and games until your daughter, niece, cousin, sister or female relative starts acting “savage” like. Savage is a term we use loosely in modern culture, however, it is a term that was first associated with slavery and how Black people were perceived to act or looked. It is not a term of endearment. Another topic for another day, but I digress. What messages are we sending to younger generations by condoning the dance where you slap their butt, hips, thighs, or however you want to dress it up and make it fancy, not to mention the lyrics that are sexually explicit, bashing of men, and disrespectful to other women to name a few themes? As a society we get really caught up into trends, especially related to social media and entertainment. Things that we think are not a big deal or do not matter actually do. It’s the “small” things like this that get ignored and becomes bigger issues. I’m sure you’re thinking that a child could participate independently out of a parent/guardian’s household, maybe with friends or elsewhere. While this is true, messages that are sent to children and help develop their value systems guide children’s decision making, self-worth, and self-esteem that feeds their desire or lack thereof to participate in certain things and behaviors. Sometimes children will simply be children and want to do things because they think it is fun. That is normal and developmentally appropriate. However, it is our job to be there to support them, engage in conversation with them, ask/answer their questions.
Tik-Tok on my friends. Have fun and be creative. Take it ol’ school. Play hopscotch, teach jump rope, hand games, etc. Be mindful of what you’re doing and who’s watching. Most of all, be safe and stay healthy!