Are Your Kids Watching 13 Reasons Why? Yep.

13 reasons why

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

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.”


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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    One Response to “Are Your Kids Watching 13 Reasons Why? Yep.”

    1. Matt Ingham

      My 12 year old nephew and my five and a half year old nephew are more technologically savvy than I am. It deeply concerns me that when they get home from school they are watching inappropriate shows on Netflix before their parents get home from work.


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