13 Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Children About "13 Reasons Why" (after you watch it

"13 Reasons Why" on Netflix has quickly become a popular topic between teenagers, parents, and adults alike. If you have not yet watched it, it's important to take some free time and watch it, particularly if the children you are caring for have watched it or are of an age where their friends are talking about it. In case you're questioning why you should watch it, here are some reasons:

1. First and foremost, establishing open communication is one of the most important tools you can have as a parent/caregiver. "13 Reasons Why" touches upon incredibly sensitive topics that may be difficult for a parent/caregiver to bring up otherwise. Using this series as a catalyst to conversation will help increase open communication which could lead to a stronger relationship.

2. This show gives you exposure to what children may be talking about with their friends. Children do not always tell their parents/caregivers what they speak to their friends about, which is age appropriate. This series, however, has been very popular and is geared toward teens. If you are familiar with this series, you'll have insight into something you may overhear but not entirely understand.

3. Watching it before your children do will give you the opportunity to process the heavy topics they touch upon, on your own, and prepare yourself for what your children are about to watch. This also affords you the chance to prepare them by speaking to them before watching it, and if they've watched it already, you can take the opportunity to process what they've seen.

4. It is important to speak to your children about the unrealistic aspects of this show. Although many of the emotions the characters feel and express are real, there are many aspects that aren't. Whether it is the lack of supervision within the school halls, the total inability of any of the adults in the show to protect their children, or the appearance that if you advocate for yourself, you'll only be slandered; there are plenty of opportunities to speak about where the show went wrong.

5. After you and your children watch the show, encourage them to give you their opinion on it. Let them lead the conversation and actually listen to them versus discouraging or contradicting their views.

6. To be perfectly honest, if your children have not yet watched this show, they don't have to to....it could be traumatic for them. Not only do the characters in Season 2 discuss very traumatic events for any student, but there are some graphic moments that are actually difficult to watch. Watching the show, yourself, allows you the opportunity to truly decide if it is appropriate for your children to watch. Knowledge is power!

7. Season 2 truly gives viewers the opportunity to talk about accountability for choices and holding others accountable. Accountability is something that many parents/caregivers do not often discuss with their children however it is a vital life lesson.