13 Reasons Why

SHOULD We Discuss Suicide With Our Kids? (The “13 Reasons Why” Effect)

Everyone keeps telling me that I have to watch 13 Reasons Why. It’s a book about a teen-suicide that was turned into a Netflix series and it’s now taking over the internet. The chatter has come in waves, with people first touting the importance of the series and it’s focus on teen-suicide. That was followed by outrage from those who felt it actually glorified suicide. Now social media is discussing the importance of watching 13 Reasons Why with your kids, so you can answer any questions they have about it.

While I agree that this is all very important, I also wonder if we’re not putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. We don’t open discussions about drugs with our kids by showing them gruesome pictures of overdosed addicts. No, we usually just start by saying “DON’T DO DRUGS.”

Yes, that’s an oversimplification but I think opening a discussion about suicide should start with the feelings that could lead to it, like depression and anxiety. I say this not only as a parent, but as a grown-up kid who suffered from both. Continue reading →