Thinking about your teen or pre-teen watching a show about suicide, with scenes in it about bullying, rape, drinking, and drunk driving can be really really scary. I’m referring to the new Netflix drama, 13 Reasons Why; a show that almost every kid I know is watching, with or without his or her parent knowing. To offer help to parents, I interviewed a therapist about the show, and asked for tips on how to turn 13 Reasons Why into an opportunity to talk about some really tough subjects and connect with kids.
13 Reasons Why Prompts Tough Talks With Kids on Suicide, Depression by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group
The first time I heard about “13 Reasons Why” was when I walked into the living room and my two teenage kids were watching episode three. At the time, I had no idea what the new Netflix drama series was about, or that it had graphic scenes about bullying, substance abuse, drunk driving, rape and suicide.
Both of my kids seemed captivated, their jaws were on the ground, and they looked scared and upset. After a couple minutes, I hit the exit button. I decided the three of us needed to have a talk before I committed to letting them continue watching what I learned shortly after was a controversial show.
A few days later, I received an email that was sent out to parents by my daughter’s middle school principal warning us that our kids are watching “13 Reasons Why” and encouraging us to talk to them about it.
If you’re not familiar with the plot…(Click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)
Like this article? Check out my blog post, “How To Talk To Your Teen About Dating, Love and Sex.”