Sometimes...I feel like I'm on my own...j/k. I fixed it.
//code that opens the child window container my mp3 player
genre=<?=$genre;?> //variable set via PHP
player= window.open ('player2.php?id='+id+'&genre='+genre, title,'location=0,status=0,scrollbars=0,menubar=no,resizable=no,width=480,height=250');
//this is the function I added to the parent page.
//each rate image id is named 'rate' + its primary key from the database. (for example: <img id="rate1111" src="images/headphones.gif" />)
window.document.getElementById(id).src = 'images/headphones'+ rating +'.gif';
//this is how I call that function from my actionscript
And there you have it. Sometimes you just need to back away from your problems and revisit with a clear mind