13 Reasons Why…Parents Should Watch 13 Reasons Why

13 reasons why parents should watch 13 reasons why netflix series

13 Reasons Why you Should Absolutely Watch “13 Reasons Why” – Whatever Your Age

The hubby and I are self confessed Netflix addicts. If it’s on Netflix, it’s gotta be good.

Right?

We’ve watched so many amazing things on Netflix and they continue to push the boundaries. This isn’t a sponsored Netflix post I promise. But today on the blog I want to share my thoughts on one of Netflix’s most recent, and fairly controversial, series – 13 Reasons Why.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

I’m in my late 30s and my first impression, after hearing about “that scene”, was that it would be teeny, a bit trashy and not at all “up my street”.  I had visions of romanticized suicide and trivial high school drama. We’ve been in a bit of a watching limbo recently so we thought what he heck, let’s pop it on, it’s been getting good reviews.

And on it went.

The first 6 or so episodes plodded along and I felt my fears were confirmed. This was indeed a teeny drama. It wasn’t until the second half that I really started to empathise with Hannah, one of the main characters. At first I found her irritating and self-obsessed. I also found Clay, our living protagonist, irritating. I found myself shouting at the TV – “just flippin tell her you like her!” And why on earth didn’t he listen to the 13 tapes in one sitting?! I’m sure some die-hard fans will enlighten me.

13 reasons why parents should watch netflix show teenagers depression suicide

The suicide

And then it ended. And there was that scene. The one people told me would be horrific.

And it was.

I felt uncomfortable viewing it and even though I knew Hannah was dead from tape 1, I felt sad. I felt frustrated. I felt angry. I felt completely naïve as to how the world has changed since I was a teen myself. I felt awfully sad when her mother discovered her. I started imagining finding my own child lying like that. Horrific.

My reasons why parents should give it a watch

Today I’m sharing my 13 reasons why every parent should watch this series. It truly is harrowing but in a way that I really think we, as parents, all need to be aware of. It’s been a very long time since I was at school. And school on the 90s was very different to school today.

So here goes.

My 13 reasons. Enjoy, whatever device you are reading this on…

Reason 1 – it tackles very Real Issues

13 Reasons address so many issues that our young face today – bullying, social pressure, school pressure, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol. The list goes on. Issues that we shouldn’t shy away from talking about but which we continually do.

Reason 2 – Cyber-bullying

13 Reasons tackles the very real issue of cyber-bullying and this notion of 24/7 bullying. I was lucky not to go through any “real” bullying at school. I was teased now and then and called a boffin but once you hit your 20s and get your degree, who’s laughing then ey.

At least when I was a kid I could go home and truly switch off. Today our tech-centric lives mean that we never truly switch off. I worry what it will be like when b is old enough to realise. And I worry about how I can protect him. And whether I even can.

13 reasons why parents should watch netflix show teenagers depression suicide

Reason 3 – understanding what’s important to young people

13 Reasons really made me evaluate my own thoughts on what is trivial and what is not. At first I really thought Hannah was overreacting. It’s a photo, get over it. But that’s fine for me to say. I never had this type of problem at school. And in my 30s, I’m at a place in life where I truly don’t give a crap what people think about me. I’m quite happy to have a wee on the side of the road (b and I did last weekend!) and more fool anyone stupid enough to take a pic of my ass and post it online!

13 Reasons made me appreciate what it must be like for teenagers at school and college and the era of insta-photo-share. I think as adults it can be easy to trivialise childhood and teen problems. And watching 13 reasons made me really think differently about this.

13 reasons why parents should watch netflix show teenagers depression suicide

Reason 4 – Depression

13 Reasons tackles something that a lot of people feel very uncomfortable talking about. No, not suicide, I’ll come on to that next. Depression. Why is it still such a huge stigma in our society?

Unfortunately I am no stranger when it comes to depression, If you have experience with depression then you will absolutely relate to 13 Reasons. If you don’t have any experience with depression then I think it gives a really good insight into how it impacts a person and the people around them.

13 Reasons builds up over the series and we see Hannah slowly become more and more depressed as the episodes pass. We see a culmination of things that build up, and ultimately end with her suicide. At first I thought these things were pretty trivial but we learn that this isn’t the case at all.

Reasons 5 – Suicide

Suicide. 13 Reasons is shockingly graphic and I get why there was uproar about showing the suicide scene. But why are we shying away from this? As an adult and as a mum I think it really hits home as to how depression can soon spiral out of control. It really made me think about the signs I might have missed had I been in Hannah’s parent’s shoes.

Reason 6 – It isn’t “teeny”

It isn’t a teen drama. It tackles real life issues really well. Yes it is set in an American high school, about teenagers. But it isn’t teeny. I think any parent with a child or soon-to-be-teen should watch it.

13 reasons why parents should watch netflix show teenagers depression suicide

Reason 7 – School isn’t what it used to be

13 Reasons really made me realize how much the school environment has changed and is impacted by our mobile phone and social media culture. I’m a mum in my 30s and this was never an issue when I went to school. Watching 13 Reasons made me appreciate how difficult school must be now. Although 13 Reasons is set in the States, I think anyone with kids at school in the UK will relate to the issues explored.

Reason 8 – Watch for the warning signs

Kids hide things. I’d love to say that I’ll have this amazing relationship when b is a teenager, where we share all our secrets and talk openly. But who knows. I keep things secret from my parents. I found it hard to talk about things with them. As a parent you only ever want what’s best for your child and you vow to be there for them. But sometimes life gets in the way. We see this in 13 Reasons over the episodes as Hannah’s parents have their own life “shit” to deal with.

Reason 9  – Understanding school dynamics

One of the things blatantly obvious in 13 Reasons was the way friendship groups form. You have the jocks, the pretty girls, the geeks, the nerds, the goths. I think as adults these lines typically become blurred. I can’t speak for everyone but my friends are friends, whoever they are. I don’t care if you play basketball or listen to heavy metal. If we have something in common and you’re interesting and kind then I’m happy to have a glass of vino with you! 13 Reasons hits home how blatantly obvious this isn’t the case at school. And once out of school and out of that competitive environment, it can be easy to forget how it was. 13 Reasons was a wake up call.

13 reasons why parents should watch netflix show teenagers depression suicide

Reason 10 – It’s a conversation starter

Even if you have zero experience with depression, suicide, bullying or sexual assault, after watching 13 Reasons, you are sure to want to discuss the topics raised.

Reason 11 – It’s educational

As a parent myself now, it really opened my eyes as to the challenges young people face. It’s a series that will stick with me for a while yet.

Reason 12 – Teen Problems are very real

I think it’s difficult now to understand just how important teen struggles at school can be. I never want b to feel misunderstood when he grows older. I’d like to think he could come and talk to me about any problem and I wouldn’t trivialize it. But watching 13 Reasons made me realize how easy it could be to dismiss something posted on social media as not worthy of worrying about. The challenges our young face at school may impact them emotionally and socially for years to come. Our kids need to feel understood.

I really think 13 Reasons may help parents, who perhaps feel disconnected from their kid’s uber connected lives.

Reason 13 – Because it’s a great series!

And finally, why watch 13 Reasons? Because it’s a fab series which deserves the attention it gets. Netflix never seem to disappoint and they know exactly what will resonate with their audience. I found 13 Reasons frustrating at times and I found it hard to watch at times. If you’re a parent of a teenager or child, if you work with kids, if you just want to understand more about depression, suicide and bullying, then I think it’s essential viewing.

Have you seen 13 Reasons Why? What did you think?

13 reasons why parents should watch 13 reasons why netflix series

 

38 comments

  1. I can’t watch it – I don’t think I would enjoy it even if I had lost a couple of friends to suicide. I’m glad you’ve found something good out of it. #kcacols

  2. I’ve yet to watch 13 reasons why but have heard and read a lot about it which is probably why I haven’t had the guts… or the mental energy to watch it. It’s good that it’s opened the conversation… and also terrifying that the conversation had to be started #kcacols

  3. I haven’t watched it but I know that at least one of children has and it has opened the door for me to talk a bit more about mental health with him. While nothing is perfect, I welcome anything that increases awareness of mental health issues and how serious the consequences can be, and this has certainly done that. Really helpful post. #KCACOLS

  4. I haven’t seen it, but The Husband has been watching it, so I knew what it’s about, and I caught glimpses of it. This is a beautiful, powerful post – maybe I should watch it. Although I’m very likely to get really upset about it all! #KCACOLS

  5. I loved this series, it was actually my children who told me to watch it! It is definitely an eye opener to how school life has changed since we were young and the issues that teenagers have to deal with has got a lot more trivial with the rise of the internet and social media. I think the key is communication, kids will have secrets and they’re entitled to privacy but it is important to know what is happening in their lives and letting them know you are always there to listen. #kcacols

  6. It sounds a hugely informative series to watch for parents. As you say, school life and being a teenager now is so much harder than when we were going through it. I feel really sorry for my kids facing all the challenges and pressures that social media has created. I also feel very strongly about depression and depression in children – I’ve written about mental health on my blog from my own experience and with my experience of children’s mental health, so it’s great that a TV show is highlighting it too. I’m definitely going to watch. Great post #KCACOLS

  7. Thanks for the review. I have heard so much about this. On balance, I think it is right to watch this and it is probably something to watch with your teenager too. I am relieved that Cygnet is only 2 and that I don’t need to think about these things quite yet. Pen x #KCACOLS

  8. I’d never heard of this and when you started off describing it I was certain I wouldn’t want to because it would be too upsetting, but having read all your reasons I think I may have to be brave and give it a go x
    #KCACOLS

  9. #KCACOLS interesting / I don’t have Netflix (I know, I know) but this post made me want to download it…hmm time for a change I think. It sounds amazing

  10. I watched the first episode of this last week and just couldn’t get into it! I’m going to give it another try as everyone raves about it, and I think it’s important to watch! Will try again! #KCACOLS

  11. I started watching it but found it slightly slow and was feeling a bit bored by episode 4. Agree it feels teeny but then I usually enjoy things like Twilight etc.

    Your points totally make sense though. It is a different world to when we went to school and I’m only in my early thirties!

    I will make an effort to finish watching it at some point.

    #KCACOLS

  12. Me and my husband watched 13RW together. I found episodes 9-13 far more gripping than the previous episodes. That scene was highly uncomfortable to watch, in fact I couldn’t, I had to look away. Also, the scenes involved sexual abuse were hard to watch. As a secondary school teacher, it was great to discuss with the students, most of whom were watching it. #KCACOLS

    • the later episodes were more gripping def. It was hard to watch at times but I’m pleased I did as it totally opened my eyes to school life now. I imagine you see a lot more first hand being a teacher.

  13. I loved it…my teenage stepson hated it! He’d read the book though and I think it’s one of those things it’s just not cool to like! My 13 year old wanted to watch it but after I saw the first few episodes I decided it wasn’t really suitable just yet. I didn’t really warm to Hannah…although I could see that she was hurt and depressed I didn’t like the way she tested the teacher right before she killed herself. She could have been honest about what she was about to do, he asked her if she needed help and she said no and expected him to chase after her. It frustrated me but that’s not to say it wasn’t good or real #KCACOLS

  14. With a kid starting secondary school it’s something I should watch. Schools are very different now, as is how kids make friends and connections. Thanks for this one!

  15. I’ve not watched it yet, and have to admit I scanned the bit at the top of this post to try and avoid spoilers! But having read all your reasons I’m now putting the series at the top of my ‘must watch’ list, it sounds like a really eye-opening show. x #KCACOLS

  16. I cant watch it. I’ve heard alot about it but it’s just not for me. The issues are and they are extremely important, that is something I don’t shy away from but I don’t want to see it on TV. I still have images of when I watched ‘murdered by my boyfriend’ on TV. Like this, I knew how it would end but seeing it played out was harrowing and so upsetting. There are so many dangers to look out for that sometimes it so scarey.
    Mainy
    #KCACOLS

  17. I’d not heard of it before but it sounds like a great series to get hooked on. I might give it a go, thank you for making me aware of it 🙂 #KCACOLS

  18. I am also in my mid 30s and Peachy is only 18 months old. I am very aware of how much the world has changed since I was a child and teen. I often worry if I will be able to relate to the problems Peachy will face at school. Or if she will trust me to understand her when things were so very different for me. As adults we tend to think our problems are so big that childhood and teen problems are trivial by comparison. But we were there once, and even though we didn’t have cell phones, we still had these “trivial” problems and they mattered a whole lot to us then too. #KCACOLS

  19. Interesting. I love Netflix too, but haven’t watched this yet or decided if I want to. Have found all the discussions and arguments going on about it interesting. #KCACOLS

  20. I have literally never even heard of this, so I read most of your post in a state of intrigue and total confusion about these ‘that scenes’ lol. sounds like it tackles some important issues though, sadly no netflix in my house though! #kcacols

  21. Wow – this sounds like a very hard hitting drama, one that I probably wouldn’t ordinarily consider but your points are vaild – it’s hard to get a full picture out of our teens and sometimes I just wish I could be a fly on the wall so this might be the little window I was after – thanks for the recommendation! #kcacols

  22. Agreed! So important for everyone to watch. I found it all a bit annoying and silly in the beginning but it is a real builder and made a big impact in my household. #KCACOLS

  23. I read the book but have not watched the series. I’m in my 40s and don’t have kids, so I’m a bit out of touch, to say the least! BUT I have to say, it almost annoys me when I hear about teens being forbidden from watching this show. Um, ok, let’s stick our head in the sand. Because they are going to watch it (especially if forbidden to!) and now they aren’t going to talk to you about it, which is exactly what shouldn’t be happening! We need to be having these difficult conversations. All too often folks shy away from what’s uncomfortable, no matter what the age. It really frustrates me. I spent too many years being suicidal, both in high school and when I was older. Although I met some people in my journey who amazingly did reach out to help, many many more ran in the opposite direction. We need to talk about the tough stuff! I agree completely with your 13 Reasons why. Thank you for writing this!

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