Suicide, upskirt photos, social media, bullying… it’s almost as if someone posted a hidden camera in the hallways of the high school down your street. The realism is a little too close to home, and parents are beginning to worry.
Should our kids be watching this?
If you have teenagers, work with teenagers or even have crossed paths with a teenager in the last month, you probably have heard them talking about 13 Reasons Why. It’s the newest bingeable series from Netflix touching on everything teenager.
The story is about Hannah Baker, a high school girl who decides to end her own life, only after making old school cassette tape recordings of the “13 reasons why” she chose to do so, tapes she sent to the people she blames.
The show, rated TV-MA, shows very mature content including suicide, rape, sexual situations and foul language. Some experts are concerned the show glamorizes suicide. Others say it’s providing a great opportunity to talk with young people about suicide risk, self-esteem, social media and bullying.
Here’s the thing. The question I keep hearing parents asking is, “Are you sure kids should be watching this.” I’m not disagreeing with the question. I just don’t think it’s the right question. Why?
Kids are already watching this.
It’s out there.
Sad fact, but most moms and dads aren’t aware what their kids are watching. So even if your kids aren’t watching it, their friends are, and now most kids want to see it. I’m not telling you to let your kids watch it. I’m just advising, whether your kids watch it or not, parents need to talk about this.
Here are 4 articles that will help you with these conversations:
- Realize we can’t block everything. This doesn’t mean allow everything in your house; it just means conversations are still necessary. Don’t just “hope for the best.”
- Look for every opportunity to connect with your kids, with and without devices. Here’s my top 5 ways.
- Be aware what your kids are accessing on their devices. Here are 5 steps parents can’t take to do this.
- This week my friend Rob Chagdes wrote a brand new article on TheSource4Parents.com unpacking 13 Reasons Why and highlighting two glaring truths the debatable series unveiled.
For more parenting help from parents who have been there, check out my brand new book, If I Had a Parenting Do Over: 7 Vital Changes I’d Make