• Mighty Parenting Tackles: What Parents Need To Know About 13 Reasons Why | Judy Davis Sandy Fowler | Episode 19

  • There’s no doubt that 13 Reasons Why is controversial. Whether you love it, hate it, or are avoiding it, recognizing that it is part of our children’s world will help you manage their exposure and deal with any reactions. There’s a lot going on here and, since the first season hit, there has been a lot of controversy. Mighty Parenting Podcast hosts, Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler, have been digging in. Here they are sharing all of the inside scoop with you from what people say is good and bad, to what kids are saying about it, to the potential fallout. You’ll be well informed, knowing just what parents need to know about 13 Reasons Why including what pitfalls to watch out for and even the questions to ask your child when you have the important conversations this show is prompting from families and our society.


    A Favorite Quote From The Show

    Kids pull messages from the show and some of them are damaging but parents can counteract these by having conversations with their teen that uncover the truth.

    High Points about 13 Reasons Why:

    13 Reasons WhyParents need to be aware that:

    • Research shows teens are identifying with the 13 Reasons Why show
    • Whether or not your child watches it, it will be part of their experience
    • Kids pull messages from the show and some are very detrimental
    • The shows are very graphic and season 2 is even more graphic than season 1
    • The show can be a trigger for people who have experienced trauma
    • There are disturbing scenes that are unsettling and can have a long term emotional impact.

    If your child or someone else has a bad reaction to the show, it may be because they have experienced a trauma in their life, whether you know about it or not.

    Although the show touches on real-world problems, it is not reality and it is sensationalized for the entertainment factor.

    Having an opportunity to think things through before they find themselves in a situation can help them react in a safer, healthier way. You can help them do this by asking questions like:

    • “Have you seen this?”
    • “Have your friends experienced this?”
    • “What scares you about this?”
    • “What actions could you take in this circumstance or if a friend was in this situation?”
    • “Who would you go to if you experienced something like this?”
    • “Who would you talk to if you felt lost, hopeless, or suicidal?”

    If you think your child is suicidal ask them “Have you ever thought about killing yourself?”

    Parents need to have conversations with their kids to make sure they are able to process the content of these shows and have a healthy response. One way to start out is to ask them “What is being portrayed accurately?” This opens the door to discussing what’s real and reduce the effects of inaccurate messages. A good way to continue the conversation is by asking, “How does this make you feel?”

    Some of the damaging messages:

    • No one is there for you to talk to
    • Your school counselor will dismiss you and your problems

    Messages our kids need to know:

    • There is hope
    • There is help
    • Treatment works

    Parents can get the DASIUM resource cards to share with their child. The cards list healthy activities that help with stress and anxiety. The back of the cards list the national hotline numbers they can call if they are in emotional distress, so they know there is ALWAYS someone there for them whether they are in distress or they need to reach out on behalf of a friend.

    The show 13 Reasons Why, makes it look like people don’t ever recover after trauma. That is not true. Treatment helps with mental health issues. The National Mental Health Association says that over 80% of people who get treatment for depression report feeling better with treatment.

    While there are issues with the series, there is good that can come out of it. Use this opportunity to start important conversations with your kids.

    Be aware. The show is out there, and kids have access whether you want them to see it or not.

    Be aware that it is entertainment but it is more than entertainment. It is a social trend.

    Be aware that the shows are very graphic and portray scenes of drinking, sexual assault, bullying, and more.

    Be aware that the shows are intense and can trigger trauma in viewers.

    Be aware there are underlying messages that are not true.

    Be sure to talk to your kids.

    More From Our Co-hosts:

    Judy Davis aka The Direction Diva is a sought after motivational speaker, entrepreneur, author and host of the Mighty Parenting Podcast. She is a small business and teen suicide prevention expert as well as an influencer in the military spouse community. Judy is passionate about providing programs and resources to families across the nation and is the CEO of DASIUM – a brand leading the way in depression, addiction and suicide prevention in teens and young adults.

    A recipient of the 2016 Dove Real Beauty Award, Judy has also been quoted, featured, and profiled in a variety of publications and interviews including Smart Money Magazine, Hiring America TV, The Jim Bohannan show, Dr. Laura Berman Show, and more. She is regularly featured as a parenting and military lifestyle expert/guest on radio shows and panels highlighting the challenges and issues facing families today.

    Sandy Fowler helps people take back their lives. She works with women and small business owners, teaching them how to make powerful choices that let them leave stress behind and live a joy-filled life. At DASIUM, she guides parents and organizations in preventing depression, addiction, and suicide in teens and young adults.

    She has been quoted on Lifetimemoms.com and SheKnows.com, featured in a cover story in the Detroit Free Press Twist Magazine, published in Mompreneur magazine and the Clarkston News. Sandy is a co-creator of The Keys to Getting What You Want: 4 Little Known Communication Secrets, and the creator of the Calendar Magic coaching program. She authored two books that use her principles to guide moms through the holiday season. She is a co-host of the Mighty Parenting podcast. Sandy loves to spend her free time camping, hiking, reading, or playing games with her husband and daughters. You can connect with her at SandyFowler.com.

    To learn more or connect with our guests, visit DASIUM.net

    Sandy’s available resources:

    Judy’s available resources:

    Warning Signs: Is Your Teen At Risk?