A few weeks back, I was telling a co-worker how I told a friend that she needs to stop letting her daughter watch 13 Reasons Why. I forgot to mention the part or maybe I didn’t get the opportunity to, where I said to stop until you can watch and have discussion. My co-worker jumped on me and said why do you hate this show so bad? So let me explain.
It is not that I hate the show; I haven’t watched it yet to say that. I know the premise and from what I have heard so far, this is not a show you let a kid just watch. I am really not sure if I will ever watch it. I feel I should to get the full knowledge and understanding but I am afraid of how close to home it will hit. Let me start by saying Suicide is NeVeR the answer. No, never. Seriously, never. Okay now that I’ve said that. I will admit that when I was in high school, I attempted twice and thought about it probably nonstop.
I was severely bullied from a very young age. While I see the point of understanding the perspective of those who are being bullied, I need to point out both sides of this. You may think your kid is perfect. They are happy and outgoing. Everything is great. Let me tell you that is not always the case. Discussions from both points need to happen when watching a show of this caliber.
My parents are/ were awesome. Don’t get me wrong, we had our parent/ child moments like all kids but they are the most caring people that I know. But they were clueless when it came to all the issues that I was having. They thought I was just shy; later years thought I was nothing but trouble but they did not know the pain I was feeling until the first time I tried to kill myself.
Kids hide this part of them well. They are depressed or stressed to the point that they do not see an answer and are afraid to ask for help. This is sad but truthful and don’t think because you have the most open relationship with your kids that this will be different. They know how to hide this stuff well.
Now on to the points of the 13 reasons. Okay so now that you have had the talk with your kids about how no matter the reason, it is never a good one to commit suicide. Talk to someone, find anyone that can help you, not just a friend. We’d love for it to be us, your parents but whoever you trust that is an adult- talk to them!
13 takes you through a series of people who have made this girl feel awful. Each episode bring you through this. A big point is that maybe just one of these things would never be enough to push someone but all together is too much. So now is the time to talk to your kid about no matter how small it seems to them, it may be huge or the thing that breaks the camel’s back. Do not pick on others, especially if you think it is to fit in. If others are doing it, this person has had enough.
I would tell my kids to be the one to friend that person and show them someone cares but it is not easy for all kids to be that way. Also, you don’t want them to get sucked into a world of drama so a good time to remind them of their values and how to stay true to them no matter what.
As a parent, I have 3 kids that are pretty open with me. 2 for sure. The one, he’s a boy and has a hard time relating everything to me but he doesn’t hold back either. My forth one, however, I have to drag things out of her and I don’t always know what is true. This is a struggle so of course, I have talked to them all about this show. Asked them not to watch unless I do. One admitted to watching the first episode and said several of her friends love it but she thought it was stupid.
As a youth leader, we have also discussed it. I was amazed by how many parents have talked to their kids about it, some said no you will not watch, some said you can watch but we discuss it all, and there was 1 or 2 that didn’t talk to them about it or care what they did with it. We talked about where to go for help and what our beliefs are on the topic. Great discussion.
So there you have it, I am not saying no. I am not saying don’t watch. I am simply saying topics like this one NeEd to be thoroughly discussed.