Parent's Guide to Neflix Series "13 Reasons Why" Share +

Posted by: coronadosafe 3 years, 9 months ago

It is hard to escape the sensationalism of the newest "it" thing. The newest craze among middle school and high school students is "13 Reasons Why." This Netflix TV-Drama is listed as MA for Mature Audiences and Common Sense Media reviewed this program as appropriate for teens ages 16+

Do you know if your teen has watched "13 Reasons Why?" We would like to encourage all parents and caregivers to talk to your kids about what they have watched, heard, have seen posted online, and start a real conversation. Below are a few important things to keep in mind.

1. If your child has already watched the show, ASK QUESTIONS. Did you think the show based on a true story? What message do you think the show was sending?  What did you connect with on the show?  What bothered you the most about the show or made you uncomfortable? You may be surprised to hear what your child has to say.  

2. If your child has not watched the show but is insistent on seeing it, you may choose to WATCH IT TOGETHER (If age appropriate), remind your child that the show is a "drama" and is not real. 

3. BE AWARE of the effects that watching a show like this can have on you and your child. Exposure to suicide, trauma and violence through televised programs can cause secondary trauma and suicidal thoughts in vulnerable individuals.  CLICK HERE to read the warning signs of suicide and what to look out for.

4. If you are not prepared to answer questions about sexual assault and suicide then your child SHOULD NOT watch this show. Common Sense Media reviewed this program as appropriate for teens ages 16+

We know that shows like "13 Reasons Why" can spike an increase in negative intrusive thoughts linked to suicide and other harmful behaviors, especially in vulnerable individuals. Teens can struggle with what they have seen on a screen long after the show ends,  specifically when the imagery contains graphic cinematography including sexual assault and teen suicide. This novel-turned-drama has been described as "heavy”, “hard to watch”, “too much”, “I wish I didn't see it”, “it broke me down".  These are adult reactions from a popular site for cinema review. More went on to describe the triggering harsh emotions this show brought up in his or her own life. 

We also know that "13 Reasons Why" has opened up the eyes of many people to ideas, thoughts, and emotions surrounding mental health, suicide, bullying, and teen relationships.  These are important conversations to have with our teens and the lesson that our actions DO impact others is a critical one.  There is, however, a balancing act when processing heavy information with an underlying lesson. With age-appropriate guidance, this may be an opportunity to connect with your child about the impact of their behavior on others.  

What is it about this show that has drawn in the attention of so many teens and children? For each child that answer might be different, but it is an answer all parents and caregivers should be looking into. Be open about your reason for feeling concerned and curious. "13 Reasons Why" was filmed and directed to reach teens on a personal level.  Teen struggle, social situations, bullying, and mental health are all a very real part of the teen world, but, so is resiliency, communication, advocacy, and support. As a parent, tap into where your child is at and always: KNOW THE SIGNS, START THE CONVERSATION, BE AWARE, AND INFORMED.

Join us for an informal Q&A on the series:

Thursday May 4


Coronado SAFE Office

For more information about this event, click here