News that iconic singer/songwriter Prince had died at just 57 years old on Thursday sent shockwaves through his longstanding dedicated fan-base, all of who loved him for his eclectic, pioneering music and his one-of-a-kind style. It's true that many of his songs, with their overt sexuality and explicit lyrics, aren't suitable for young children. But Prince's life was a lesson, and he had plenty to teach children and adults alike. Although his death is certainly a sad time, it's also an opportunity to introduce his life and legacy to young budding fans. But how should you introduce your kids to Prince, and what lessons can they take away from his life?
The "Raspberry Beret" and "Purple Rain" singer has been a staple of iconic American popular culture for decades as a trailblazer in the music industry. He was undeniably talented, having won seven Grammy Awards and 30 nominations in his lifetime, as well as an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for "Purple Rain." His energy was equally contagious, as he pulled off electrifying performances, during which he may have played the guitar, bass, drums, or piano while belting out lyrics.
Prince was the embodiment of so many important qualities and stances, many of which are lessons parents strive to teach their children through conversation and example. He was absolutely original, and, even in death, offers a trove of entertainment and important lessons.
The Importance Of Perseverance
If there's one really important life lesson Prince can teach kids, it's about grit. Sometimes — or really, most of the time — life is just not going to go the way you expected. While one option is, of course, to grin and bear it, another choice is to totally embrace a situation and rock it.
That's exactly what Prince did during his 2007 Super Bowl halftime performance, the first time it rained during the game in 40 years. Super Bowl halftime show production designer Bruce Rodger described the storm as "a scene from Moby Dick," according to the Independent. But Prince reportedly simply wanted to know whether the powers that be could make it rain harder. Despite the four electric guitars he was using as he dominated a stage made of slick tile, Prince delivered an absolutely epic set. His message was, essentially, do not give up, and always be fabulous. (Although, this might also be an effective way to teach your kids about lightning safety. Just a thought.)
The Beauty Of Being Yourself
When it came to style, Prince could not have cared less about gender norms. He sought out the flashiest, the sparkliest, and the prettiest. Whether it was a feather boa, a polka dot ensemble, or a purple sequined cape, on stage, every costume was a statement: Be yourself. What better message to send kids than to embrace differences and express your true self, regardless of what society says?
Standing Up For What You Believe
Prince's final studio album, HITnRUN: Phase Two, was a bold and proud tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. In the track called "Baltimore," he references the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man whose 2015 death in police custody prompted protests across the city. "It's time to hear the guitar play, guitar play, Baltimore, ever more / If there ain't no justice then there ain't no peace," Prince sings, showing us all that we need to use our talents to inspire change. For kids, the message is clear: Stand proud in your beliefs, and do what you can to make what is wrong right.
While it may be better for kids to wait until they're a little older to really appreciate a lot of Prince's music, "Starfish & Coffee" is kid-friendly and fun! It's upbeat and perfect for dancing. Enjoy! Because learning from Prince's example is always a fun time.