13 Reasons Why based on the novel of the same name written by Jay Asher has been in the news a lot lately. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not it is suitable for tweens and teens to watch. As a parent, I would say no to tweens and o use your judgment for your teen.
For me as a mom of a teen, I was glad I let my teen son watch this show with me. Here is why.
Disclaimer: Possible spoilers ahead.
About 13 Reasons Why
Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason why she killed herself.
Why I Was Glad my Son Saw This Show
As a mom, I try hard to protect my son from the world but I’m a realist and know my son has to go to school. This means he is someone else’s car for 8 hours a day. Like any parent, I hope that when I send my kid to school he is watched over and taken care of. Sometimes that isn’t always the case. Whether its class sizes, resources or just the fact the school system failed sometimes our children are left without help.
Because I am not with my son 24/7 and because he is good at covering his emotions I admit I sometimes miss signs I should have seen. So when he randomly wander into the living room and sat down to watch 13 Reasons why with me I took as a mom and son bonding time. What I wasn’t prepared for is the door to open to a conversation that left me stunned.
You see my son has been having some issues this past year and though some were due to medical others I found out were from just daily interaction with other kids. As we watched the show we began to talk and it became clear that even though we live in a small town thing like bullying, body shaming and yes even drugs were something my son had to deal with daily whether himself or with people he knew. We talked for hours after this show and were able to seek help not just for my son but for a friend of his who was struggling.
Watching 13 Reasons Why opened a door of communication that I’m not sure would have opened otherwise. Mainly because my son is not a talker by nature and because I was naive and thought our school system was a good one that didn’t have a lot of big issues.
Should Your Kids See This Show
I would say if your child is under the age of 14 no definitely not its raw, emotional and hard-hitting. You older child maybe but that’s your call as to what you feel your child can handle. For me, my child had been handling a lot in real life issues that were hard so a show wasn’t going to be any harder.
Also, in my opinion, this show wasn’t meant to take the place of talking to your children it was entertainment. Whether that entertainment was for shock value, sadness or laughter it was entertainment. Much like other shows, people rave about ones that talk about the perfect murder or promote fooling around with multiple partners to find your true love it was a show, fiction.
Have you seen this show yet? Do you plan to watch it?