13 Reasons Why – A Parents Guide

Before we start this discussion if you're a parent and already scratching your head as to what 13 Reasons Why is and why we should be chatting about it, here is a link to the IMDb website for the trailer and synopsis. 

We can debate and debate whether 13 Reasons Why is acceptable or unacceptable for teens to view, but it doesn’t matter. We don’t really get a vote here. 13 Reasons Why is here and teens are watching.

We can take a stand and forbid them from watching it, and maybe some of them will obey…the younger ones, and perhaps the ever-elusive obedient teen…but the rest of them have already watched, are watching it as we speak, and/or will be watching this series for years to come. And more importantly, even if your teen isn’t watching it, most of their peers are watching it.
Teens speak to each other in shared media lingo. They are quickly speaking 13 Reasons Why. They are already using the characters, dialogue and events as metaphors for their lives.

This tsunami can’t be stopped by prohibitions or debates over its merit or diabolical intent.
How both teens and adults are reacting to it is the perfect example of the silent crises teens are in currently. You see, these teens, right now…they are the first batch of kids to have been raised their entire lives plugged into the cyber world. Their social and sexual development has been profoundly influenced by the internet. We, who were not raised plugged-in, are the first to parent such teens, and we simply could not have known how to protect, educate and, eventually heal them. This is uncharted territory.

So, as they are educated in social skills through cyber unkindness and bullying, and in sexuality by internet porn, we, like parents of old, have been worrying about how much sugar they have been eating and fighting over the dirty dishes under their beds.

This series has caused a stir…and it should…it is intense and can be traumatizing…and it is important because, even though for over a decade now they have had access to all sorts of horribly inappropriate visual entertainment, we are taking a stand on this one….and realizing…there is nothing we can do to stop them from watching it….and that is incredibly important to note. We cannot stop them.

Interestingly, this series is about how adults have been unable to find ways to talk to teens and teen have been unable to talk to adults about how truly difficult it is to be a teen that has been so influenced by these caustic cyber mis-education about the social and sexual world.

This odd little series might be just what we need in order to start speaking the same language, like the ink spots in the movie Arrival.

The incredibly good news is this…when adults understand what the issues are for today’s teens and start talking to them about these issues…teens are reeducated and healed rather quickly. They’ve been so alone in this…and not because we have been neglectful…but because we just didn’t know.

Somewhere in all this are thirteen reasons why adults should educate themselves by watching this series, or asking someone who has watched this series, (including their teens), and starting conversations with other adults and with teens

1 Comment

  • Jacqueline Palmer June 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for helping clarify what the movie is about and whether or not it’s worth watching.


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