Parental guidance crafts similar music tastes

Maggie O'brien '25, Staff Writer

Maggie O’Brien ’25

Growing up kids are influenced by their guardians in one way or another growing up. Relying on their parents from everything to learning how to brush their teeth to planning a future. This constant dependence means most kids tend to take after their parents or guardians in the basic things in life.

Music as a whole can play a big role in a person’s life and some might say that growing up you can take after one of your parent’s music tastes. Baxter Russell ’23 said he listens to a mixture of both his parents’ type of music because of how he grew up always listening to it.

“I listen to both of my parent’s music equally,” Russel said. “I like my dad’s rock music and my mom’s new wave music. I was inspired to listen to both of them growing up.”

Long-standing psychologist Dana Alphern said that kids more often than not partake in the same extracurriculars that their parents once did or even in politics.

“When parents want to provide opportunities for their kids at a young age, they tend to give them plenty of options,” Alphern said. “Even though parents give their kids a range of choices, those options are still very much still dictated by what the parents themselves are interested in.”

Jennifer Russell is Baxter’s mother and has been a huge influence in him for his whole life, even in his music taste.

“(We) as parents are trying to guide our children to make the best decisions,” J. Russel said. “We think we know how to help them make tough decisions, but later on they power through in life and pave their own path for themselves.”

Alphern said that sometimes the way parents influence their children actually encourages them to do the opposite of what they like.

“There are also going to be times where kids rebel against their parents and deliberately choose not to do something because of their parents,” Alphern said. “Correlating to music choice, some children deliberately refuse to listen to their parent’s favorite band because they are just trying to be separate from their parents.”

Alphern said that every child is different and when it comes to helping a child through things that the parent could not do themselves, it is nice to have the parent cooperate.

“I know that my work can go more effectively and more easily when the parent is not defensive and is open to constructive criticism,” Alphern said. “It is helpful when they are willing to listen on how they can change some of their strategies, philosophies or even their approaches on their role as a parent to their child.”