13 reasons why – I think the writers have achieved what they set out to do – to open conversations between teens, parents and their friendship groups. Is it controversal, absolutely! because it confronts real teen issues that are often hidden.
Tackling some hard hitting issues like bullying, rape and suicide, each episode explores a different issue that teens face today without shying away for the harsh reality of it's effects on everyone around them. 13 reasons why tackles the dangers of social media, drugs, substance abuse, exploring their sexuality, friendships, trust, stalkers, pier pressure, family abuse, slut shaming and so much more.
While this show has prompted schools to send out warnings to parents, that are definitely valid for younger viewers, parents should consider watching this series with their teens to open difficult dialogue that worry us and our teens.
While some episodes are more confronting than others, that is completely the point! Be sure to watch the 'extra' episode as the cast go into detail explaining how the writers have used accredited research to make the characters performances as realistic as possible, never shying away from the harsh reality of damaging consequences of our actions plus the domino effect of one incident, and how it can be perceived so differently by a variety of people.
I watched this with my year 9 daughter, and admittedly at times we were both uncomfortable, but we were able to talk about the behavior in each scenario and open up a new dialogue. I would highly recommend that parents with kids in this age group watch it with their Sons and Daughters. Teenage years can be very confusing, where they feel things are -the end of the world', so parents need to communicate and reassure their children that things will get better and open judgement free communication to make them feel safe and valued.
While schools try to implement no bullying policy, it's still very evident in our society. 13 reasons why documents the view from a teen suicide, how she felt and why she thought she had no other choice. It also shows the effects her actions had on her family, friends and mentors, all coping in different ways.
The story is narrated by Hannah Baker through a set of cassettes as she details her reasons that lead to her decision to commit suicide. Friend, Clay Jenson also narrates his journey as he listens to each tape, tracing Hannah's thought journey of each incident, beginning with an innocent photo that is misrepresented through social media.
This is the current conversation for teens at school, so I strongly suggest every parent watch 13 reasons why, and maybe together we can save lives by reading the signs.