Confession, I don’t watch a ton of TV. Kind of crazy since there are so many great options for shows nowadays and you can stream from basically anything; in addition to the fact that I am an actress makes it a little odd.
Don’t get me wrong, I watch a show here and there, especially if my husband is tuned into something. I’ll sit down to spend some time with him. But honestly, after having children I feel like I could be doing a gazillion other things!
Needless to say a few moms have been urging me to take a look at 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. They didn’t tell me much about it, just to sit down and watch.
So this past week one evening after the girls went to bed, I grabbed my fave snack of the moment (sliced pink lady apples and creamy almond butter) and watched the first episode. I was hooked! I spent the next four days binge watching every episode and as a mom, this is 13 reasons why you can’t afford not to watch too!
1. It Takes More Than Just Love
You love your kids, we all do but this made me realize it takes more than just love. It takes time, patience, sacrifice, openness, empathy, guidelines, you get the idea.
2. Forces You To Think Ahead
I have young children now but in 8 years my oldest will be a teenager at 13 years old and these issues could be at the forefront of what she may see in school daily. I have to educate myself and be aware that because of technology and social media, school relationships are different from what I experienced. Boys don’t have to call the house anymore and get screened by your crazy older brothers, they have immediate access through texting and social media!
3. Makes You Appreciate Them While They Are Young
All I kept thinking while watching this show was how badly I want to give my girls so many hugs and kisses now, while they are 5 and 2 years old. I want to cherish these moments of innocence and youth before they are exposed to the some of the harsh realities of this world because seeing life through the perspective of “teenagers of today” sucks!
4. Foster A Positive Relationship Now
The relationship between child and parent can be one of the most influential relationships in a child’s young life. I want to encourage my girls to know they can always talk to me about anything. I may have to zone out if it gets a little too crazy but at least they will know I am there!
5. Instill Important Values Early
It starts at home. It starts with us as parents. Hang around good people, make smart decisions, think about your future not just the now, be kind, be honest, use your wits, talk to your parents and trust your gut. We set the foundation early so it’s not a shock when we have to enforce it later. Because the day will come where they will test you and you will have to reach deep inside yourself not to knock the mess out of them!
6. Encourage Them To Empathize With Others
Empathy is so important to understanding the needs of others. I always want my girls to step outside of themselves and be inclusive of all people, no matter how different someone else may be or what other judgments others have casted on someone. In this series, if more of the kids empathized with the girl, she may have lived.
7. Spend Time With Them
Work time into your schedule and theirs. Family time is one of our most treasured times. 13 Reasons Why made me realize that maintaining that time throughout their childhood and into adolescence is essential. It may be hard to wrangle in a teenager but after seeing this, you’ll realize it’s worth it!
Just listen. Be there. Be annoying and ask questions often. My 5 year old gets frustrated with me when I ask too many questions about school now so I know I’m going to get all sorts of eye rolls when she gets to high school!
9. Know Their Friends and Parents
Be in the know. Keep yourself in the loop, in their loop. Talk to other parents and communicate with each other. This is probably going to be kind of hard in high school since I have a hard time keeping up with the parents in pre school!
10. Be Present In Every Aspect Of Their Lives
Don’t assume, know. 13 Reasons Why series showed me how involved and tuned in you really have to be. Kids can be master deceivers and it is up to us to know our children. Is this when we insert a tracking device into their arms while they are sleeping during the high school years? I am totally down for that btw.
11. Be Open Now, Stay Open Later
Be open now while they are young, stay open later when they are older. Love first and question second. Encourage them to know that you are there for them first and foremost. Whenever my brothers would get in trouble in school, my mom would always stick up for them at school and then discipline them at home. They learned that she was always in their corner no matter how upset she may have been. Clearly, I learned from watching them!
12. Bullying Has Taken On A Whole New Form
Bullying goes way beyond the classroom or school campus. Now it extends to social media and online. Which means it follows teens home, to after school activities and basically everywhere, 24/7. That’s so not cool especially if people at your school really suck!
13. Suicide Is Real
In all seriousness 13 Reasons Why depicted the brutal reality of sexual violence, slut shaming, rape myths and homophobia in schools today. This series made me cry, tense up, feel shocked by shedding an uncomfortable but necessary view on the high school experience that every parent needs to see. Trust me, you won’t look at high school the same!