Teen Life

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch "13 Reasons Why" With Your Teen Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has gained an incredible amount of popularity and criticism ever since its debut in 2017. The show tackles difficult issues like sexual assault, suicide, gun violence and bullying. Because of the explicit content of the show, parents have remained wary about their children watching it. However, Gary Direnfeld, counselor for over 35 years, says parents should not only let their teens watch the show but they should watch it with them. Here’s why. YOU CAN DECODE WHAT’S HAPPENING: The first reason to watch it together would be to help your teen decode some of what is happening on screen. “Sometimes watching intense, graphic scenes can be traumatic for people and it can overwhelm them,” says Direnfeld. “Having a parent there to help interpret what is going on, to provide support and emotional safety, can help the child integrate the experience without it being traumatic.” YOU CAN ASK HOW IT AFFECTS THEM: Talking to your child about how the show makes them feel is another good reason to watch it together. “Asking about the kind of impact that it has on your child is important because they could be going through something similar and it would be unhealthy for them to go through it alone,” says Direnfeld. “The thing that 13 Reasons Why teaches us is that children are exposed to explicit and extreme material on the Internet and we want to help them cope with that stream of material before they are actually exposed to it.” YOU CAN ASK WHAT THEY ARE GOING THROUGH: Watching the show together can be a catalyst to discovering what your teen is going through. Some teens suffer from anxiety or depression or have gone through traumatic experiences and may feel shame and embarrassment, but having a parent to talk to offers them a way to figure those experiences out. They can learn how to manage and respond. YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES AT SCHOOL: Watching the show together gives parents a chance to ask their teen about their experiences at school, while also being able to instill their own morals and values, says Direnfeld. “Regardless of how a drama is critiqued, the explicit content is still there, and it exposes our children to behaviour that can be frightening and overwhelming,” he says. “From my perspective, it is what

  Teenagers are the most misunderstood age group. They are often perceived as lazy, unintelligent, disrespectful, and hard to understand. There are plenty of things that parents can take into account when speaking with their teen. Acting like the boss of every conversation can drive a teen away from being honest and open about their ideas. This can disable the parent’s goal of understanding. Maybe even learn about the adult they are blossoming into. It’s important to listen in order to understand what’s on your teen’s mind. You might be surprised what you will hear. 1. Teens want to strive for a better future The present is dealing with a lot more difficult issues around the world. Most teens want to get involved in creating change in the topics they are passionate about. But, keep in mind that every teen has a different way on how they will get their point across — whether it’s through protest, an art or a speech. There are many ways to create a powerful statement. Good change is incredibly important for the future ahead. Remember encouragement is a plus for your teen and they are more likely to try with the support of family and friends they can trust. 2. Some teens suffer from mental illness Back in the older generation, mental illnesses were seen as excuses or made-up nonsense. However, those are false statements. Mental illness affects everyone, especially teens. The struggles of dealing with mental illness can make everyday things difficult to get through; it can be something as simple as communicating with another person or finishing a small task in class. It’s difficult to breathe when your mind is constantly nagging at you and telling you things about yourself that cause you to feel terrible. It’s important to know that your teen is really trying but might be afraid to ask for help. Make sure if you notice anything wrong, you let them know you’re there to help. 3. Teens are sensitive for a reason Unfortunately, as much as we don’t want to admit, prejudice is still around. Anyone of colour, sexuality and mental or physical disability can relate. Verbal and physical attacks can hurt. Teens understand this well and want to speak out about it. Problem with that is they are labeled as oversensitive. The issues such as prejudice should not be taken lightly. These issues being fought for the way they are shows that teens care