For the last few weeks I have been catching up on 13 Reason’s Why on Netflix. There has been much debate about whether the show glorifies suicide and should not be viewed by teens or whether it should be watched so teens understand the impact of their actions.
If you let your child watch it or not doesn't matter as much as whether you are teaching your child resiliency skills. If our children are resilient, self-aware, compassionate, brave, and authentic, whether they watch this show, a rated R movie or the nightly news it won’t impact their beliefs about themselves or push them into committing suicide. Of course, the best way to teach your kids how to be resilient is to embody these qualities yourself.
On a scale of 1-10 how resilient are you?
Are you able to recover from stress quickly? Does what other people think about you bother you at all? Do you love and accept yourself completely? Are you able to learn and grow from mistakes? Do you feel like a victim in your life and often blame others? Do you know how to leverage your energy so you don’t burn out?
If you are less than an 8 it might be time to work on cultivating resiliency in your own life so that you are able to teach these skills to your children. (If you were wondering HOW the hell to learn this I have a program starting in a few weeks that you might find helpful..for you and your family.)
I promise you, your kids will be bullied, they will have bad hair days, they will have shit happen in their lives, just like you and I did.
I remember when I was in high school my ex-boyfriends, new girlfriends, friend, egged my car and wrote in shaving cream, “slut mobile” on the side doors. While I do remember how bad it felt, I also remember that there were also kind people who quietly told me what happened before the whole school saw and helped me to clean it off.
Do you remember how hard it was to be a teenager?
As a mother, when my children are teens and want to watch 13 Reasons Why, I will let them. I also intend to teach and model resiliency for my daughters. Suicide is a scary reality and I will teach my daughters that suicide is NEVER an option and with pain can also come growth. I will remind them that I will always be there for them and love them no matter what.
If you have a teen you might want to use this check-list as a guide on what skills you need to teach and model for them:
My child knows how to manage anxiety and sadness
My child knows how to make their own decisions
My child loves and accepts his/herself
My child knows how to take care of his/her physical & emotional health
My child trusts that there is a divine plan for his/her life
My child is grateful for what he/she has
My child has empathy for others
My child cares about more than his/herself
My child knows he/she is valued
My child knows he/she is loved unconditionally
My child knows how to have fun alone, with friends & with family
My child is curious and interested in learning
If you are interested in learning more about how to cultivate resiliency in yourself or your teen let’s find a time to chat. You can schedule a FREE 15-minute phone session with me HERE.
If you realize that your child is not very resilient right now, you might want to discourage them from watching this show. It contains mature concepts and does show suicide as an option for dealing with painful life circumstances.