I first heard about the newest Netflix series from one of our Friending team members. She had mentioned that she had read the book, "13 REASONS WHY" and was looking forward to the TV series. She told me the book was about friendship. I was intrigued. Plus, I am always on the prowl for a good series to binge watch.

  I was worried that the show might be too "young" for me. The story is about a  female high school student who commits suicide and leaves cassette tapes listing her "13 reasons why" she took her own life. Nevertheless, I pushed on and invited my husband to join me on this journey that I believe has changed us as parents. Forever.

    After the first episode, I was stunned. I turned to my husband, who caught my watery, terrified eyes and  he said, 

    "Let's keep watching. I think we need too."

   And we did.

Parents, if there was ever a TV show that we need to watch, it is this one.

 Before I give 13 reasons why parents of 5th graders need to watch Netflix's "13 REASONS WHY", I want to give 3 precautions.

1. This show is not suitable for children to watch. At all. I may watch it with my kids when they are in 8th grade. I think it could be a really great way to have some very hard conversations. But a good rule of thumb is to always preview first. 

2. This show is based on a fiction novel by Jay Asher. It is not a true story but it tells a lot of truth.

3. This show contains graphic content that is difficult for parents to watch. Watch it with discretion and a critical mind.

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let's discuss why every 5th Grade Parent should watch 13 Reasons Why.



1. Although the show is set in a high school, research shows that many of the issues it is addressing are happening to our middle school children. 

2. It is an accurate depiction of how most teenagers view "school life".

3.  There will be times when you will be tempted to say, "I don't need to know that this goes on. Ignorance is bliss." I think the show makes a good point that ignorance is not bliss when it's too late. 

4.  I commented to a younger friend, "How can all these things happen to one girl" and without a beat, she responded, "It happens all the time. Just no one talks about."  If this happening, we need to talk about it.

5. The show highlights the struggle and flaws that our school systems are facing as they deal with suicide, bullying and some of the other issues. Parents cannot depend on school administrations to be the "watchful eye" of what is happening to our children. The problem is too big and we need to be the first ones on watch.

6. The story IS about friendship. In fact, one line that is often repeated is, "Friendship is complicated". For middle school and high school students, one of the most painful things they will face is when things go wrong in their friendships. This show crushes the delusion that friendship drama among teenagers does not have lasting consequences. 

7. It exposes how social media can be a  powerful weapon of mass destruction. 

8.  It challenges the naive parental thinking that, "my kid is a good kid and therefore...".  This show illustrates how good kids can find themselves in bad situations.

9. It reveals a very painful truth that we need to acknowledge and that is: Kids don't tell their parents everything. The show does an excellent job at teaching us why our kids don't want to tell us what is going on.  This is not an easy pill to swallow but I think it will help see where we are closing the door on conversations without even realizing it.

10. It points out how as adults (parents, teachers, administration) we often elevate grades, achievements, and activities over character: If our kids are excelling than they are good people. Sadly, this is not the case.

11. It gives us a framework of how quickly drama can escalate. Again, it is tempting to say, "Well, this is only a TV show," but sadly a lot of college age folks I interview and survey on friendship say, "This is how quickly things happen."

12. It clearly proves that what kids are facing today is different than what we faced when were teenagers. Some of the core issues are the same but the role technology plays shows how our kids are dealing with things at a way different level.

13. Knowledge is powerful. We will NOT be able to shelter our children from pain. I know. I hate it too. They will get hurt and it will probably be from their friends. We do ourselves good to get street smart so we can ask the right questions. Will our kids survive the crap that middle school and high school bring? Probably. But don't we want to be the ones ready to throw them a life preserver when they begin to drown?  This show teaches us what "drowning" can look like as a teenager. 


     Dear parent, go and watch this TV series... and be sure to listen to "all the tapes". 

Your friend and fellow parent,


      Friending Podcast will be doing an episode dedicated to this book and TV Series. If you are a parent and do watch 13 REASONS WHY we want to hear your thoughts on it. Send us your thoughts here:

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  Noelle is a researcher,   speaker  , and podcaster. She is the podcast producer/host for   Friending Podcast   and is a regular co-host for the podcast,   Slices of Life  . She lives in North Jersey with her  hot  husband and two  wild  children. She is a big fan of Constant Comment Tea, the Oscars, and Lesley Knope.        Noelle is passionate about helping  women   empower women through the art of friendship .     For more random facts on Noelle you can    click here    or stalk her on   Instagram  .

 Noelle is a researcher, speaker, and podcaster. She is the podcast producer/host for Friending Podcast and is a regular co-host for the podcast, Slices of Life. She lives in North Jersey with her hot husband and two wild children. She is a big fan of Constant Comment Tea, the Oscars, and Lesley Knope.

      Noelle is passionate about helping women empower women through the art of friendship.

   For more random facts on Noelle you can click here or stalk her on Instagram.

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