13 Reasons Why is a show on Netflix that is based on the young adult novel by Jay Asher.  The story is about a young girl who has just committed suicide and left 13 tapes to explain why she has killed herself.

Parent may think this show is a good way to educate their kids or that it could serve as a teachable moment, however, there are plenty of reasons to NOT let your kids watch this series.

Totallythebomb.com has a good description of the reasons why this may not be the best show for kids….

  1. This show was overly graphic. The last four episodes especially, so if you watch the first couple and think you have a good overview of how intense the show is, you don’t. They have explicit warnings at the beginning of each episode, but that isn’t enough. The show features two rapes of teenage girls. These rapes are gritty, horrifying and not something your children need to actually witness just in case they need to deal with something like this. They did a good job of showing Hannah (the girl who committed suicide) and how she felt during the rape, but watching her body writhe with each “thrust” was completely unnecessary and not something we needed to watch in order to understand the gravity of the situation.
  2. The suicide toward the end of the series might as well have been a handy dandy how-to graphic for how to kill yourself. They showed her stealing razors, and the showed the actual cutting of her wrists, the way she cried out and laid in the bathtub until she was gone. Why show a kid exactly how to do it? Why was that important? Don’t you think we could have gotten the same feelings if we hadn’t watched the blade actually pierce and slice her skin? (Also, in the books, she took pills. Was that not graphic enough for television?)
  3. The other big problem I had with the suicide was the build up, the entire series lead up to Hannah killing herself. Which isn’t different than in the books, but for some reason, they made it feel like a big reveal, an event that you were waiting on. Something exciting. Suicide should never EVER be exciting. And I was disappointed that they depicted it as such.
  4. They glamorized Hannah, the girl who killed herself. They made her out to be this big amazing person that everyone remembered and was heartbroken about after she left. In the book, the story was more about the kids she left behind, but for some reason, the series made this about her, like she left some sort of legacy only a dead girl could leave behind. Why would you want kids to think their lives will only have meaning after they die? What kind of effed up message even is that?

Can parents stop their kids from watching this show on Netflix?  How do parents talk to kids about this show and it’s meeting.

As a parent, what do you think?