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“Thirteen Reasons” to Openly Communicate with Your Teenager

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

If you have a teenager, you have probably heard of the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why. Based on a book of the same name, this hit show chronicles the mystery surrounding the suicide of a teenager named Hannah. The narrative structure of the story plays out through thirteen audiocassettes that she left behind, each detailing a different person whose acts or omissions were responsible for her decision. The story unravels in an increasingly bleak manner and touches on themes of underage drinking, teenage friendships and relationships, social media, bullying, isolation, sexual assault, and suicide. Understandably, many parents and school districts have raised concerns and complaints about the series. Common amongst these are that the show glamorizes suicide, and that it may influence other teenagers to follow Hannah’s lead. Don’t …