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Parent reviews for 13 Reasons Why

Common Sense says

Disturbing book adaptation sheds light on teen suicide.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 174 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 300 reviews
Adult Written byLewis1 April 14, 2017

Are you kidding me?

Parents, Please, please, please watch this before you let your kids even think about watching it. There are messages in this show that need to be heard, but there is nothing redeeming in how it is presented here. I knew my daughter would ask to watch it, so I sat down for the first 4 episodes. That was enough. She did ask, because, "all the kids at school are watching it". No, she will not see it. Once something is seen/heard, it can't be taken back. This one is best left alone.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTalia J. April 18, 2017

Unpopular opinion

I can't believe so many people think this is "great for kids to watch". The content is the content...language, rape, alcohol, drugs. That's not what concerns me. I just don't understand the message. A girl commits suicide and decides to tell 13 people why they caused it? Some of whom are deserving of a lifetime of mental torture knowing they were her "why", but most are not. Regardless, that's what she's decided they deserve. They deserve to know they played a role. Terrible concept. Most of these kids did nothing to warrant the lifetime of mental anguish she's decided they deserved. I hate the concept. I don't think there is any worthy message other than to treat people with kindness because you never know what other issues they have going on. In this girl's case, they really should have highlighted her obvious mental health issues at the core of this decision. Rather, the focus is on how friends didn't care about her enough. There is some heavy reasoning towards the end, but outside of that they show is focused on laying blame on others for her decision to kill herself. Look out kids, you stop being friends with someone, reject them romantically or never tell them you love them...well, you may end up on someone's tapes. My kids won't be watching.
Parent Written byCandice C. October 20, 2017

DONT SENSOR YOUR KIDS, THAT IS JUST AS DAMAGING

Ok I like this series. Most kids and parents can relate to this. If you think drugs, sex, foul language, and suicide is not happening in middle and high school you are in denial! Teach your kids strong values and then it shouldn't be an issue while watching cause the child knows it is just a movie and they know right from wrong. If everyone jumped off a bridge would you do it too? This movie is great to start asking questions to your child has this stuff happened to you or someone you know? How would you of handled it differently? You ask your kid you know all the different ways you could handle these situations presented in this movie correctly, right? Kid answers no well then lets talk about this. Kids need to be comfortable talking about sex and drugs or seeing it on t.v. My mother sheltered me from these things, I got pregnant at 15 years old. So there ya go on what the results will be from sheltering your children. Who do you think I going to teach your kid about these issues? Seeing it in a movie make it more real and relatable.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 13 year old Written byMoviegirl223 July 21, 2019

Do not sensor your children

This show goes in depth about disturbing and hard to talk about topics like suiside, rape and drugs. Watch with your children and proceed with caution as it gets very disturbing in some parts.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byDanielle C. April 7, 2017

Great Series but definitely for the more mature

This series is really great to watch and definitely binge-worthy. The message behind the story is one that everyone should know and understand. Since it is based on high school kids, there is some strong language pretty frequently through the whole season. There are two scenes that involve sexual assault, although they do not show any body parts other than a boys behind. There is also a scene which shows a character commuting suicide and it is very graphic and difficult to watch. To give a better understanding rating wise, if this were a movie I would definitely think it should be rated R for mature content.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 8 and 14 year old Written byAmber G. April 4, 2017

Important subject matter but presented with graphic content

I feel that this show dealt with an important subject matter. I do feel like the message was more to treat others kindly vs suicide not being the answer. It's repeatedly discussed that if something had been different, the main character wouldn't have killed herself. I don't feel entirely comfortable with that message. That works well if you're the bully, but if you're being bullied, I do worry that you could feel the suicide is justified. Because of this I think this series is more appropriate for a high school student vs a middle school one. There is also a lot of cursing and very graphic sexual assaults as well as the actual suicide being shown. Again- be aware of prolonged, detailed rape scenes- thrusting, panties being removed, etc, as well as a close shot, detailed scene of wrist slitting. This could start an important dialogue with your child but I definitely think it's more appropriate for older kids and that the parent should discuss their child's interpretation of the series with them.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 8, 10, and 13 year old Written byDeniseArts May 1, 2019

Teen Suicides jumped - tread with care

A new study just came out saying teen suicides jumped nearly 30% after the release of this tv show. Here's a link to the article; https://tinyurl.com/y5bff4s3 and here's a link to the actual scientific study; https://tinyurl.com/yymsgtzv.

This is, to me, incredibly irresponsible storytelling, and if Netflix had any decency they would stop production on this show. But they won't, because it's a show that will continue to make money for them. That's the kind of world we live in.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 12, 13, and 15 year old Written byLeigh K. April 27, 2017

Proceed TOGETHER with CAUTION and COMMUNICATION

We voted as a family to watch this ONLY together, with the knowledge that we would stop / pause and talk about situations throughout the series. We believe if the kids are talking about it outside the home and share it in our home we want to be in on educating them with our truths, not just their friends thoughts.

I watched ahead am glad I did because it starts off tuff but with moderate to low language, drinking, sex, and destructive behaviors but over time it gets more and more visual... Too much for me... An adult... To be comfortable watching.

I have told my kids we will not continue watching, but we are going to read the book aloud now.. Many complaints were voiced but I was clear that the topic continues in the book with out the graphic picture seen on tv.

Do I recommend..... I am thrilled that the book and honestly the show was produced but I HATE that they get us numb... Desecitized or try.. I am THRILLED people are talking about this.... But are the right people saying the right things. Yes, parents watch, TALK to your kids and REALLY really listen to them. This has our kids attention weather in public or private school settings... Don't just let their friends share. I believe this is a great opportunity to talk, listen, and share with our kids the really tuff part of life... I pray that NOTHING like these things happen ever, but if we are talking and keeping the judgement out we might find we can help. Don't stand up against stand up for others... Stand up for what's right, stand up for communicating about those tuff topics.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byColton W. April 20, 2017

Outstanding

This is an amazing 1 series TV show that shows the depths of teen suicide that we're all too scared to talk about. I feel that this show is a must see for anyone in 6th grade and up so they can understand how powerful the things they say and do can be.

Quite a bit of cursing but I wouldn't say too much because it's set in high school.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMommaG3 April 14, 2017

Great series, great message but sadly, due to explicit nature, will miss the ages needed to see it most.

All the kids in school are watching this, 11 and up, without parents knowing. So I wanted to see for myself. I'm only on episode 8 so far BUT.... THIS IS NOT FOR YOUNGER AUDIENCES. The message is good but there is way to much (sex, nudity, masturbation, drugs, drinking, rape, bullying, suicide, cussing, violence, etc..) for a younger audience. I'm sad because the overall message (how you treat people, no matter how small something you think is....can have dire and lasting effects on them) is good but the audience needing to see this can't because of the explicit nature of the show. Semi appropriate for 16+ but the message should be heard by age 10. This is a show for high schoolers only.
*edited to add: I finished the series and for all of you saying its fine for younger kids, its no worse than what they see on YouTube or what they talk about on TV..... you CLEARLY did not watch the series. Do not let anyone under 16 watch this.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byCameron E. April 5, 2017

Very disturbing but necessary portrayal of teen bullying, suicide and sexual abuse

This show is fairly different from its source material. It's often very graphic and does not apologize for it. Nor should it. This is an important show that everyone should watch... But not for the young or faint of heart. There are depictions of graphic suicide and rape and they are things that anyone under 15 should not be seeing play out. Either way, would definitely recommend!
Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written byTricia C. April 4, 2017

Real Life Portrayal

Great message. Really stuck with me. Very intense subject matter but the message was beautifully given and can be an amazing conversation starter. There are a couple of rape scenes that are disturbing and my daughter wasn't allowed to watch those, nor did she want to. When the flashbacks came she looked away as they are very short. So be aware of those. As a parent, the role of the School District in this was disturbing, as their cover it up attitude and the actions of School Counselor remind me of the same as the School District my kids are in. It is clearly something that happens everywhere which is so scary or they wouldn't have portrayed their role that way. I as a parent could relate to most of the content based upon what High school was like when I attended a few decades ago and it helped me see how much climates and cultures in schools have changed. My oldest daughter is in Middle school and I can see where a lot of similarities are happening there already.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byabbybesss May 30, 2019
It has lots of mature content but also a representation of mature things that a child should learn or know about.
Parent Written byNicole C. April 27, 2017

Real life as a teen today

Adult Written byElla M. April 23, 2017

A Show That You Must Watch For Teens And Up

This show is very good, and I just need to put that out there. There are many, many mature themes, but this is the perfect show to watch with your teen if you want to have important conversations (some of which could help your kid). There are some good role models, (pretty much just the main) but even they do some iffy things. There is some swearing, drinking, drug use, and violence. But the most disturbing (and realistic) thing about this show are the way it shows depression, suicide, and rape (which are all shown throughout the show, but very rarely graphic). The main themes of this show are depression and suicide, which will is why I think many parents won't let their kids see this show, but this is exactly why teens should see this. Watch this show could make topics such as depression and suicide much less taboo, and make it so your child feels comfortable talking to you if they are going through any of these terrible things. There are two graphic scenes in this show which are (SPOILERS) a rape scene (there are 2 but the second one is much more graphic, although no nudity is shown) and the scene where Hannah (the main girl) slits her wrists. Both of those scenes where very hard to watch, but I would never ever skip them, for they were meant to be that way. The way I see this show is that some parents will think that watching this show could make their kids depressed or suicidal, but the truth couldn't be further away from this. If your teens see this they will open up to you in ways that you could never imagine, and talking to them may just make them happier or stop them from doing something terrible. This show is a must see with your teens, so if your kids are 7th grade or older I beg you to watch this with them maybe not to be entertained, (which you will because the story and people in this show are impossible not to watch) but to make their life better and to have a more open relationship with them. Thank you se much for reading

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byk s. April 21, 2017

Unsettling & Revolting

This series crosses the line for children 16 and under, by scenes of rape, drug use and a student writing a graphic organizer justifying reasons the good and bad people in her life made suicide justifiable (??) It attempts to resolve that she assumed things about them that had she lived she would have found happiness and first love that did not happen, but unfortunately where the book succeeds the movie fails. It's approach and use of party scenes and drunk driving glamour ides this life to young viewers (?) instead shows them only 1 view' of what's "out there." Abysmal.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byC W May 27, 2017
My 14 year old daughter binge-watched this series before I even knew about it. A few weeks later, her school sent a warning to parents alerting us to the series and that we should watch with our kids, or not allow them to watch it at all. I asked her if she watched it and she admitted she had. So I thought OK I'll have to watch it now, and we can talk later. OMG. It was disturbing, incredibly sad, angering, and totally NOT appropriate for a 14 year old. It emotionally exhausted me. I can't even imagine what was going through my daughter's brain and heart after watching this. Needless to say we have talked about it since but I very much wish she had not watched it until at least a few years older. How do you talk to an 8th grade girl about rape when she's never even kissed a boy? How do you talk about seeing another get raped and then the full visual of somebody slitting their wrists? I know she wasn't ready to see all of this, and I wasn't ready to have those heavy-topic conversations with her yet. PARENTS - I made a mistake and my kid watched this too young amd before I could see it. Please watch first if you can and decide if YOU and YOUR kid are ready to see and discuss these topics. I'm all for talking about tough issues with my kids but our kids can never unsee what they see in this series.
Adult Written byMammaJen September 7, 2019

Lots of topics to talk about

Many of the issues are largely blown out of proportion but as a parent I think if I didn't think many of these issues were real I would be naive. Watch it with your kids and talk about it. Very heavy topics in this.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byBecchoffie September 5, 2019

14+

I think the show suits for those from Highschool age because of the characters. A little younger would be okay but would recommend it from 14. My little sister watched it when she was 14 and know myself that I could handle that kind of show at that age too. I'm 24 and loved all three seasons and can still relate to the characters in some way.
Adult Written by13reasons September 1, 2019

All parents need to watch this and monitor their children accordingly

I watched all three seasons and I think that the first season stopped halfway through then began again after the third season came out and binge watched the series when my children were not home. My children are eight and ten and have expressed no interest in watching and I don’t want them to watch yet. The entire series, with excepts and extras was done well and gives a holistic view of victims and those who committed the crimes. I believe it’s important for us as a society to remember that violence begets violence, a central theme in the third season. Nature vs. nurture can and will be debated as a source of human behavior until our species no longer exists but I think there is no debating the fact that the environment and ideals we raise our children around a tremendous impact on what and how they deal with conflict. As parents we can control some of these attitudes of acceptance and accountability but when we send them to school there is much we cannot control.
This series and the barrage of topics and points of view are hard to watch but they are real. Imagine how difficult it is for our children to live. I, unfortunately had a traumatic high school experience and am aware of many of these issues bc they have not changed but they have become more complex and there is more pressure now. There are new issues and old problems that our kids are facing in different ways. I feel like the series is an eye opener for parents who are not yet aware that our kids are seeing things younger and younger. We don’t have control over what they hear their friends say or see them do. The topics covered on the series, unfortunately only break the surface of topics we need bring up with our children on a repeated basis.
I work at a crisis center and have learned that that these conversations and more need to happen with our children EARLY. Of course they need to be age appropriate but they need to happen often and expand as your child gets older.
I don’t think this is just a show for kids, I think it’s a show that, whether or not you agree with character choices or motivations, should be used as an educational tool by the adults in children’s lives to start and stay communicative with young people and the adults who lead them. It can help teach us about trauma and the ripple effects it has in our society and how to talk about making good choices.

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