Classics Are the Key

You like stuff. Your kids like different stuff. It’s a conflict as old as parenthood itself. Music, food, art—the generational divide is real. 

Does this mean we can’t even connect? No, of course not. There is something we should always be able to enjoy together—the stuff that transcends generations: the classics.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was recently talking about the kind of music that he and his kids have connected over. “I’m lucky, I got three boys, most of them still listen to a lot of AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine,” he said. “All good quality stuff. We can share a Rage Against the Machine song on the [drive] to school, which always sets the mood for the day.”

What he’s talking about is perennial stuff, stuff that’s crossed over from being of the moment to being timeless. What’s new is often part of an inexplicable trend that will come and then go, but not soon enough. This is the stuff that makes parents uncomfortable. In fact, part of why kids like it is because it makes parents uncomfortable. Leave that stuff alone, leave it to them.

What you can bond over is the stuff that history and time have already done their work on. The stuff that’s endured. Whether it’s reading Kipling’s poems (as we’ve talked about) or rocking out to AC/DC, find a way to introduce your kids to the stuff that is good enough for them to one day introduce to their kids. The stuff that’s not going anywhere. 

Enjoy the “classics” together—whether it’s the classic texts, classic rock, or the classics of the Criterion Collection.

Nothing becomes “classic” by accident—it’s because its creator made the right decisions during the development process. For a great book about how and why work becomes classic, check out Ryan Holiday’s bestselling Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts. Get your copy here.

P.S. This was originally sent on March 18, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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