Are Your Kids Watching 13 Reasons Why? Yep.

13 reasons why

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

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

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    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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