Coffee Talk: Thirteen Reasons Why…It’s Scary to Parent Teenagers.

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Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher or watched the new series on Netflix?

I had not heard of either until a few weeks ago, when my 16-year-old told me she was going to start watching the new series. Like any curious parent, I looked it up and then informed her that I thought it would be a little too much for her. She was quite angry about it, because drugs, bullying, and sex were all at her school anyway. ‘All of her friends had watched it already’ and ‘their parents let them.’ I won’t even bother to get into my thoughts right now on the whole ‘letting my kids do something because someone else’s parents let them’ bullshit. I don’t buy it. However, I was surprised to hear this was all going on at her school already.

The kicker of the whole situation occurred a few days later when my 13-year-old presented almost the exact same conversation to me about wanting to watch the show as well. This completely blew me away. How in the world are these things already happening in Middle School? Why is this show almost like a ‘fad’ amongst the teenagers? I really don’t understand it at all. There was no way his eyes needed to see this or be a part of any situation regarding a heavy topic like suicide, and I certainly wouldn’t want to put ideas into either of my kid’s heads for that matter. Of course, he got an even firmer NO.

Then I found out that the kids at his school were showing clips from it on their phones, and he had officially seen episode #13 which was the finale – the life ending one. Seriously? We try so damn hard to protect our kids from the evils of social media, but no matter how diligent we are, unfortunately, other parents aren’t. Then we’re forced to face situations like this that we try to avoid head on. So, we decided we would watch it together as a family. At least this way, we could openly discuss these difficult topics that apparently were impacting the kids in one way or another and make sure we were all on the same page with it.

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