I’m constantly trying to get my kids to stop binge watching tv. They sometimes sound proud when they declare they finished all of Friends or How I Met Your Mother. I am proud that they are choosing great shows, but seriously?
But this past week, while on spring break, I binged watched Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. My daughter had told me everyone was watching this show, so I thought I would see what all the kids were drawn to.
My description of the show may scare you, but rarely has a show affected me in a way that I want to write and tell people to watch it. It is the story of a beautiful girl named Hannah who before she takes her own life makes thirteen audio cassettes, each one dedicated to a person who is one of the reasons she did what she did. It is crushing, and compelling, and real.
And I wish I had known sooner than my kids about this show so I would have forced them to watch it with me. The issues are heavy, and deep, and so relevant for our kids today.
-It shows Hannah is every kid. She is smart and beautiful and confused
-It shows how cruel kids can be, and how schools and parents aren’t doing enough
-It shows that kids’ decisions and actions stay with them forever
-It shows that we as parents need to always see our kids as kids, and not mature enough to handle all things
-It shows that everyone needs friends around them
-It shows that when people need help they try to tell you in their own way
-It shows that we as parents need to ask more questions
-It shows that the world does have evil in it
-It shows that schools protect themselves before our kids
-It shows that a kind word or gesture is powerful
-It shows that there are still double standards among the sexes and how women are treated
-It shows that being a teen is probably the most difficult stage in our kids lives
-It shows that we need to watch this show again with our kids and talk
I have written numerous articles about parenting, my fails, and my successes. And I know I will continue to have both. My kids are older, they talk less to us, see us less, but actually need us so much more. Require face time with your kids, overlook the the eye rolls, review their day, know about their friends, ask them where are you going, who are you going with, what will you be doing?
This show taught me that I should be annoying to my kids. That we are not done raising our kids when they get to their teen years. It’s probably where the most work for us begins.
So watch this show with them. Talk to them about how they feel about the issues in it. It will be an important binge session for the family.