Dear parents, we urge you to take a cautious note not to allow teens to watch Netflix movie 13 reasons why.

“Parenting in the digital age can be scary and hard, and we provide you help navigating all the media in their kids’ environment.” Here are some collective literature for you to understand it in a deeper sense.

The Storyline. With some digressions from the original plot of the book, the series follows a teenager named Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) who receives a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a classmate who recently committed suicide. On each of the 13 tapes, she explains to her peers how they each played a role in her death, detailing the 13 reasons she took her own life. The story follows how each of the 13 players engage the tapes and react to each other as the tapes spread.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he believed the series could tempt teens to attempt suicide because of the way it’s portrayed as a solution to problems.
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“What concerns me about the show is that the central conceit of the series feeds one of the drivers of teenage suicide, and that is the sense of suicide as storyline,” Moore said.

“Many depressed teenagers that I’ve talked to over the years, and others with suicidal tendencies, don’t actually want to be dead as much as they want to end one story and start another. In many cases, the suicide becomes, in the imagination, the way to resolve storylines that one sees no other way to resolve.”

The episodes also reportedly contain instances of rape and sexual assault, underage drinking, driving under the influence, body shaming, and an explicit scene showing the teenager’s suicide.

The Rating. Netflix has rated the show TV-MA meaning it is not suitable for children under 17. If you peruse the internet, you’ll find that others are suggesting it may be appropriate for those over age 15 since that is the age of the teenagers in the show. I have had parents contact me where their middle school children are excited to watch the show. The show earned its rating TV-MA with the graphic scene of Hanna committing suicide and bleeding out in the bathtub, multiple rapes, nudity, underage drinking, bullying, stalking, drugs, violence, and very strong language.

The Warnings of Watching. Parents, be on alert in regard to this show. This is a graphic show. Some parents and reviewers have described this show as a how-to guide on committing suicide. Cultural issues relevant to the episodes include suicide, rape, bullying of various sorts, drugs, underage drinking, stalking, betrayal, grief, revenge, lies, blame-shifting, fat shaming, strong language, violence, and other areas of abuse as well. Mental health officials in Australia have strongly urged parents to not let their teenagers watch this. There is concern with copycatting the suicide.

The Benefits if Watching together.

This may be a series that you can use as a stimulus to talk with an older teenager regarding life issues. Issues like suicide, bullying, cyber-bulling, sex, rape, drugs, guilt, shame, and others are real. Teenagers and young adults do face these issues in their culture. After watching the episodes first as a parent, you may choose to watch the episodes with your teenagers together and discuss the sensitive issues they portray. I strongly urge you to watch all the episodes first before beginning the series with your teenager so that you can make the best wisdom choice regarding your teenager.

We who believe in Jesus can often be more aware of our sin and unworthiness than God’s love for and delight in us. We may believe that God accepts us in his son, but it’s hard to believe he takes pleasure in us and views us as precious to him. Yet 1 Peter 5:7 tells us that God cares for us. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us God delights in his children and rejoices over them.

Here are thirteen reasons you are precious to God

Because he created you
Because he created you in his own image
Because he purchased you with the blood of his Son
Because he has washed away all your sins
Because he adopted you as his own child
Because he has joined you to Christ, made you one with his Son
Because you are part of his bride
Because he has put his own Spirit in you
Because he is transforming you more and more into the likeness of his Son
Because he is manifesting a fragrance of Christ through you to the world
Because he has imputed the very righteousness of Christ to you
Because he has plans and a purpose for you
Because you delight in his Son and desire to obey and glorify him

We can’t fathom God’s incredible love for us. In and of ourselves, there would be nothing to attract him, nothing for him to delight in. But he has made us new creations in Christ, created in the likeness of Jesus, in whom is all his delight.

Praise God today that he has made you precious and delightful to himself.


Resource Links for Various Reviews from the Internet

5 Things You Need to Know about ’13 Reasons Why’

13 Reasons Why by Common Sense Media

Why I’m Not Letting My Teen Watch 13 Reasons Why On Netflix Alone

’13 Reasons Why’ is Netflix’s newest must-see series


Does ’13 Reasons Why’ Do More Harm Than Good On Teen Suicide?

Information parents should know about Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why

’13 Reasons Why’ Review: Netflix Brings a Brutally Adult Edge to A Tale of Teen Suicide

7 Things You Need to Know Before Your Teen Watches 13 Reasons Why