**This post contains mature subject matter** Thank you to Netflix for sponsoring this post about 13 Reasons Why You Should Watch 13 Reasons Why With Your Teen. Thank you for giving us a place to start a conversation about issues like suicide, depression, bullying and sexual assault. I thank them for giving me the freedom to share personal stories of my own struggles with these issues.
Suicide is one of those topics that a lot of parents don’t know how to discuss with their children. 13 Reasons Why is a powerful show which recently became available on Netflix. It touches on some pretty tough subjects. They include suicide, sexual assault, stalking, bullying and more. It seems everyone is talking about it. That is great! I am happy to see the lines of communication about these subjects opening up.
Suicide is a serious issue. If you have not talked with your children about suicide yet, now is a great time. Many school age children have thoughts of suicide. Some know someone who has taken their own life. 13 Reasons Why can help you open up some of those lines of conversation. My daughter is a high school senior. We are watching 13 Reasons Why together.
If you aren’t familiar, 13 Reasons Why is based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix. It is a story about Hannah, a teen who takes her own life. Two weeks after her death, Clay, her classmate, finds a mysterious box on his porch.
Inside the box are recordings made by Hannah — on whom Clay had a crush — in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to commit suicide. If Clay decides to listen to the recordings, he will find out if and how he made the list. This intricate and heart-wrenching tale is told through Clay and Hannah’s dual narratives.
Suicide is not a glamorous answer to life’s problems. Often, it seems like it is an easy way to stop from hurting. Making your child aware of the result of taking their life is important. The effect of that decision on the people left behind can be devastating.
When watching the show, explain to your child know that Hannah’s character was hurting. Talk about other ways to deal with these feelings. Tell your child to seek someone out to talk to whether it’s a parent or another adult. Sometimes friends can be confidants. Caution your child their friends may not know how to deal with those thoughts and feelings.
If realize your child is showing signs of depression or if they voice that they feel how Hannah felt, act now. There are many avenues to treat these issues. Therapies and counseling are an excellent way to help kids express what is going on inside. It is a great outlet for them. Sometimes, talking to someone who understands and will listen can be enough.
Watching a show about suicide and depression does not mean your child will follow suit. They may feel more comfortable talking about themselves with you. A relatable situation, like those in 13 Reasons Why, can open those lines of communication. When watching the show with my daughter, I was able to share some of my experiences with the pressures kids face. It made it easier for her to open up to me.
Caitlin and I talked about the mistakes many of the characters in 13 Reasons Why made. When reaching out, Hannah felt like she had no one that she could trust. When she would try to voice how she felt about situations, she got shut out. With many of her friends, they didn’t have time because they were dealing with their own problems. This happens way too often and is one of the easiest things to fix in lines of communication. Sometimes listening is all a person needs. Some positive feedback is also so important.
The show also should open up some lines of communication about bullying. Parents need to be able to recognize whether their child is being bullied or in some cases they may be the bully. As a child I went through this, as did both of my kids. I found it difficult to talk to someone. My kids were able to be open with us about their experiences. Teaching our kids to treat others the way they want to be treated teaches them how to respect others.
I was glad to see 13 Reasons Why show how Hannah’s suicide effected the adults. As the teens on the show, the adults contemplated what they could have done. As adults, we need to take a step forward and be more present in our children’s lives. So many times we brush things off and they may be more serious than we ever imagined.
Watching shows like 13 Reasons Why are a great jumping point for the conversations with our kids. There are many important conversations we need to have with our children. Some of these conversations could save their lives.
So many good movies and shows come from books. I loved that they adapted this from the popular book by Jay Asher. Selena Gomez and Tom McCarthy have made pure magic come to the screen.
13 Reasons Why touches on how much technology really impacts the lives of children. Technology is only going to be expanding and so it is so important to teach our children how to have a meaningful online presence.
Each character from Hannah to Clay have their own story to tell. There are behind the scenes things that happen in everyone’s lives that affect the way that they act. Clay’s character loved Hannah and she him. They never knew exactly how to tell one another.
Expressing feelings can be difficult, especially for teens. It is important we show our kids they can feel safe in expressing how they feel. Kids need a safe place to land. That should be with their parents when possible.
Suicide is a totally real thing in our world today and is the second cause of deaths among our young people. It is a sad and true reality that we must address by any means possible. 13 Reasons Why has definitely opened up the floodgates of communication between me and my daughter. There are so many thoughts and feelings that whir around in a young person’s head and we only hear about 25% of them.
If you have been looking for a way to talk with your child about any topics from suicide to bullying to rape, this show is a must watch whether it be together or separately. You can talk about what they got from each episode afterwards.
Lastly, if you or anyone you know is suicidal or has these tendencies, please let them know that there is help. They are not alone in this and there is always someone there to listen. You can text “START” to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK.
For more guidance on talking to friends and family, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. En Espanol: 1-888-628-9454. Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889. To learn about emotional health and how to support a friend, visit:
Have you seen 13 Reason Why? If so, what did you think? If not, what is keeping you from seeing it? Talk to me!