What Parents Should Know About 13 Reasons Why

Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers about "13 Reasons Why" provided by a teen who has not only watched the show, but has interviewed teens on the subject and appeared twice on Fox News 46 Charlotte to discuss the impact the show has had from a kid's perspective. 

hat should parents know about the show if they haven't seen it?

"13 Reasons Why" is a TV series on Netflix that became wildly popular a few months back because of the controversial subject matter. The show stars the main character, Hannah Baker, and her experiences throughout high school that have all collectively forced her to the point of suicide. The show encompasses some very graphic and mature scenes dealing with teen suicide, rape, teen sex, and drug and alcohol abuse, which might be inappropriate for kids under a certain age. Because of this kind of sensitive material, it's important for parents to monitor whether or not their kids have seen the show, or if they are planning on watching it, in order to help them process and understand the harsh subjects the TV show brings up.

s it best to watch the show with my kids, or just not allow them to watch it at all?

t is up to a parents judgment of whether or not they want to let their kids watch such an intense show, or at what age they want to expose them to it, but either way, watching "13 Reasons Why" with your teen is the best route of addressing the problem. I interviewed several kids who felt strongly impacted by this show, and all of them agreed that it was helpful for them to have a parent near by when watching "13 Reasons Why." One girl, in specific, noted that she was able to fully process some of the heavier content the show pictured with the help of her mom, and because of this, she felt more safe and comfortable.

o you think it was a good thing that teens everywhere have watched "13 Reasons Why?"

do think it was very beneficial for kids to have watched a show that displays the dangerous affects of cyber bullying and what can happen if suicidal thoughts and mental illness aren't dealt with properly. Also, the show has been a popular topic of conversation between kids and their parents, which has sparked an interesting and important conversation about teen suicide and bullying that they might have otherwise never had. 

For more about the show, what kids think about it, and/or how parents should handle this situation, watch my segment on Fox News Good Day Charlotte.

If you are concerned about something and would like to suggest a topic for my next national survey and blog, please let me know. I hope to help bridge the gap between parents and kids.

Thanks, Emma

Aimee Symington