My Four-Year-Old’s List of Favorite Songs Looks a Lot Like Mine and It’s Awesome…For Now

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Music is a negotiation when you’re driving somewhere with your kids.

And by “negotiation,” I mean you’re playing whatever the hell they want over and over and over again while slowly losing your mind. When a kid latches onto a tune, it infects your car speakers, and you can’t shake it until that six-hour road trip is over. It can be brutal…

… or awesome.

With a few simple strategies, like withholding snacks, pretending you can’t hear them, or cranking the volume up to drown out the screaming, parents can influence their kids’ musical tastes by playing their own stuff despite the protests.

I should know, because I have successfully curated my kid’s list of favorite songs from a Baby Shark Nightmare Purgatory to a country-heavy playlist that I forced upon him thanks to heavy repetition and a little bribery.

Check out the list of songs my four-year-old rattled off when I asked for his favorites (I’m so proud):

Yes, I may be turning my son into me, complete with an affinity for country music, a fixation on beer-drinking, and an over-commitment to HARDY.

On one hand, this is great: my road trips no longer make me want to stab a pencil into my ears (and everybody likes Christmas music). But on the other hand, I want my son to be an independent thinker with his own tastes and preferences, not a little HARDY-obsessed robot following in my degenerate footsteps (as funny as that is right now).

There are worse things, however, than manipulating your kid’s playlist so that you don’t have to listen to “Let It Go” for hours.

So, I’ll enjoy our musical alignment for as long as I can, and I’ll hope and pray that when he’s a teenager, latching onto whatever viral TikTok musician his generation will be into and hating on my taste in music, he’ll still have a few country bangers stuck somewhere in his subconscious.

And on that day, I’ll fire up “Cold As You” and, with a grin, remind him that he used to love Dad’s “lame” music.

And “Jingle Bells” in June.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock