9 tips for talking to your teen about Season 2 of '13 Reasons Why'

9 tips for talking to your teen about Season 2 of '13 Reasons Why'

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9 tips for talking to your teen about Season 2 of '13 Reasons Why'


Credit: Netflix

Season 2 of “13 Reasons Why” is on its way.

Are you ready for the talks?

Educators, counselors and even Netflix urge you to keep the communication lines open if you’re going to watch the controversial show.

Netflix, the creator of the runaway hit, said in a statement that the series should serve “as a catalyst for conversation” on the show’s intense themes and difficult topics.

Same dark storylines

Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix via AP

Interviews with the creators indicate the teen drama will have continuing storylines in Season 2:  Suicide, rape, bullying.

Last season featured detailed scenes of teens harming themselves, including the main character struggling to breathe as blood poured from her slit wrists in the bathtub.

So how do you have those conversations if you come to the show fresh during Season 2’s expected release date next spring or want to be prepared this year?

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) offers a PDF tip guide for how parents can talk with their children about the series.

The tips may also prove helpful even if you, as a parent, intend to stay as far away from the series as possible and want your teen too, as well.  The guide can serve as a light post for broaching suicide as well as other sensitive topics with teens.

9 tips for watching, talking about the show

Credit: Beth Dubber/Netflix

  1. Don’t be afraid. Have the conversation with your children about the Netflix series and the issues.
  2. If your child is in a solid state of mental health, watch the show with him or her. However, AFSP warns not to watch the show if a child is having suicidal thoughts or has experienced sexual assault.
  3. Don’t binge-watch. Watch one show at a time to allow for discussion after each episode.
  4. Ask open-ended questions and ditch the judgment. For example: What did you think about the show?
  5. When you child responds, resist the urge to offer quick solutions to tough questions and strong reactions.
  6. Validate your child’s feelings.
  7.  If your child is talking about any level of distress, follow the thread and ask them about changes in their mental health. Ask: “Are you OK?”
  8. Raising the question about suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. It creates an opportunity for support, AFSP says.
  9. Check in with your child to ask whether they believe any of their friends exhibit warning signs. Then talk about how to seek help for the friend.

AFSP provides further resources and warnings about the series. Find more information here.

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