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13 Reason Why is Opening Up Dialogue Between Parents and Teens

** I am part of the Netflix Stream Team and do receive a free Netflix subscription and other perks, but all thoughts on this show are my own views**

The teen years aren’t always the easiest, the moods, the not sharing every single thing with mom or dad, and of course, the experiences our kids go through can make the teen years challenging for both parents and children. One of the things I miss the most with my oldest, who is almost 18, are the conversations. Don’t get me wrong, we still talk about everything, but just not as much as we used to. I do feel blessed that he is, for the most part, pretty open with us. Sometimes it just takes a bit more effort than it used to. One of the things I love about my kids is they are always pretty open and honest with us, but that doesn’t mean they are just going to volunteer information or that they don’t need to have a heart to heart about some tough topics.  Here’s a video on my thoughts about why Parents should watch, then keep reading for more detail about the show!

Recently, I watched Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and it was one of the most intense, heartbreaking, angering and best series I have watched on Netflix thus far. Before I continue further, let me say this is not something I think should be viewed by my younger children who are 11 and 13. There is too much in there for them, and at this point, I believe that it would do more harm than good. However, my oldest asked if he could watch it. I had to think about it because there are a few triggers I worried about him seeing, but we talked about it, and after making sure he would be okay, I decided it was something he should watch.

Why did I want him to watch it? Because kids today don’t think about how what they do or say to another or about another can affect that person. They think “Oh it’s just a silly little rumor” but to someone that silly little story can be life altering. There are too many kids today, who are bullied through actions or words and I love that I can use 13 Reasons Why to open up a dialogue about the importance of treating others kindly and even standing up for others with my children. While I won’t allow my younger two to watch the series, I was able to take some scenarios from it to discuss with them. I love that Netflix is offering shows like 13 Reasons Why to help parents stay connected to their teens with issues they are facing today.

What’s more is Netflix has provided talking points (see below and click to open in a new page for printing) for parents to be able to use when watching 13 Reasons Why with their teens.

Because parents don’t always think to bring up bullying or suicide with their children, 13 Reasons Why has brought it to the forefront of my mind and ended up sparking conversations between me and my oldest as he’s watched the show. It’s also reminded me that I need to address issues like this with my younger two, even though they will not be watching the series. It’s also reminded me that I need to make sure my kids always know they can talk to someone, so they don’t fall into a depressive state like Hannah and think there is no way out. They need to lend their ears to friends and people so that people know they have someone. There truly are so many lessons in this series, it’s a must watch for parents, in my opinion.

The series is not to be taken lightly like other entertainment shows/movies. It has some very real and raw moments that you will see if you choose to watch it. There are triggers for people who suffer from depression, who have issues with drugs and alcohol, for individuals who have been sexually abused or raped and for individuals who have thought about or attempted suicide. The show is very eye opening, I felt every emotion one could feel when watching the series, so it is not to be watched with a light-hearted “just another show” attitude. You will want to weigh if it’s appropriate for your children, watch it first, then you’ll know if it’s something you want to watch together or just use a tool for discussing these topics.

But it’s a great show for bringing older teens and parents together to discuss very real issues that are so prevalent in today’s society. Have you watched 13 Reasons Why yet?

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Toni is a professional lifestyle blogger living on the sunny Florida Gulf Coast. She has a passion for Disney, Travel, Fashion, Cooking, Tech, Family Fun Ideas, Reviews, Giveaways and loves being able to share that with her readers!

Comments

  1. 1

    My kids are all grown now but I have a friend who has a troubled teen. I’ll be sure and tell her about this show.

  2. 2

    I have heard tons of buzz about this and will probably catch it over the summer. My DVR is very backed up right now, so once I am done with that – I will make time for this.

  3. 3

    I’ve not watched 13 reasons why yet, though have heard a lot about it, I’m not sure if I would cope with it, it sounds like a very powerful series.

  4. 4

    I’ve read so much about this series .. although I haven’t watched it. We also don’t have teens at home anymore. If it sparkles good and honest conversation between parents and kids .. it can’t be all wrong. That being said .. it does sound like a show that might lead some already impressionable kids in the wrong direction.

    • 5

      Yes, it’s definitely something parents will want to watch first to make sure it’s a fit for their kids. But it does spark some much needed conversations. Even my oldest, who is 17, we skipped through some of the huge trigger scenes. He knew what happened so he didn’t want (or need) to watch it play out.

  5. 6

    My kids are still quite small but I know time flies and they’ll be teens before I know it. It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open with kids!

  6. 8
    Jaime Nicole :

    I have a lot of mixed feelings about this show (yes I have watched it) as I have a 16 year old daughter. I like the antibullying message but really have concerns about suicide contagion and them not portraying adults as people to turn to for help. It’s a well done show for sure – makes you think.

  7. 9

    I’ve watched 13 reasons why and it’s really good to watch this with your kids teens. This is also timely reminder for parents to keep the communication line open and be aware of their activities.

  8. 10

    I keep hearing about 13 Reasons Why. People love it or hate it but it has some great and important discussions happening because of it.

  9. 11

    I think it is so important to continue a conversation with your teens. If using a TV show as a way to start that conversation, I think it is is a great idea!

  10. 12

    I cried so hard watching this series. I read the book, so I knew what happened, but just to see it visually was so sad.

  11. 13

    Omg I am afraid to watch this. My kids are babies and I don’t want to think about them growing up and having to worry about such a harsh world. I have heard this is a great show.

  12. 14

    Most teens reach that point that they don’t share everything. It’s kind of difficult to handle that as a parent.

  13. 15

    I never heard of this series, looks interesting.

  14. 16
    Annemarie LeBlanc :

    This is a show I would ask my kids to watch with me. This is a very important issue that plagues the younger generation. If I get to open their mind that things like this happens in real life, maybe they can be the one who can help prevent it from happening.

  15. 17
    My Teen Guide :

    Getting good shows to watch with your child seems to be a rarity nowadays but I am glad to have the chance to view 13 reasons with my children. I know it deals about suicide, and that should not deter us from making our children know that it is a real problem among the younger generations.

  16. 18

    I have been seeing a lot of people mention this show. my oldest started watching it but I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet.

  17. 19

    13 reasons why is an eye opener. It gives many powerful meanings of what to do and what not to do. However, I think of the people who have watched it and to those concerned about watching it believe they missed out a crucial part. That is where teens or kids need to go for help. There’s a short vlog on Netflix called “Beyond the Reasons” with all the characters, producers etc that go in detail about why they made it and where you can go to get help. Please check that little interview out. They also give you a website to go to. I believe it’s http://www.13reasonswhy.org

  18. 20

    I haven’t started watching but my sister already gave me the links to stream the videos online. I’m very excited! This will make me destress from work for a while.

  19. 21

    I haven’t watched the 13 reasons why yet.. Sounds like a great show. I have Netflix, will check it out soon.

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