I’ve just finished watching the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. If I’m been honest I found it pretty tough watching.
It reminded me too much of my teenage years. My teenage years like a lot of people out there were no fun park experience. They were for the most part, that I can remember a grey period in my life, full of uncertainty, confusion, anger & complete contempt for my poor parents.
Watching this show has woken a fear that history as it often has a tendency to, will repeat itself. The series touched on pretty much every topic that was an issue in my teenager years, except it’s set in 2017 not 1997, which goes to show been a teenager still sucks. 13 Reasons Why, had the ability to draw me back into feeling the raw emotion & vulnerability that I felt for so much of my teenage years. I spent the entire of last week going to bed feeling uneasy & anxious. The show has literally come between me & my nights sleep.
After much tossing & turning I’ve resorted to writing out here my 13 reasons why I’m already dreading the teenage phase in my children’s lives.
- Secondary school can suck & they ll have to spend 7 hours a day for 5–6 years there. I will have to hand them over to an education system that was & still is designed for inside the box type thinking.
- I was continuously embarrassed by my parents. I was mortified to be seen even in our car with them. The thoughts that my children won’t want to be seen in public with me already hurts deep.
- I’m dreading having to guess are they telling the truth or just completely BSing us, all the time about everything.
- Social Media in their lives. The thoughts of them sharing, liking & been exposed to a constant stream of non achievable perfection & the damage it can do, scares the crap out of me.
- Teenage Sex…calling a spade a spade here, this has to send the fear of God into every parent. I’ll be honest I can’t delve into a memory bank for this one. My mother had me pretty convinced I’d get pregnant just thinking about sex to even conceive participating in the act.
- The possibility of Teenage pregnancy both for him & her.
- Teenage Drinking….oh boy was this was my weakness. 16 year old me could drink current me under the table handy.
- Drugs. Most parents focus when they think of drugs & their children is of them been gripped by an addiction & rightly so. However there’s a lot more to be afraid of. I once sat in a maths class with a boy who had his nose broken on the way to school for not paying a drug debt. He had a knife in his bag.
- Frigid, Slut, Prick, Prick Tease, Slag, whore, scumbag….& all the current abuse comments out there I’m happily oblivious to. I’m dreading hearing that they were called these names or they called somebody else these names.
- Rape. The stats in Ireland for people sexually abused or raped is roughly 1 in 5. It’s shocking, horrific, but very clearly, still a big silent issue. The thoughts of this happening to my child scares me to a point that makes me feel physically ill. Consensual teenage sex made in good or poor judgement is one thing. Rape is rape, pushing somebody into doing something they don’t want to participate in is wrong to, there should be no grey area. People we need to leave our comfort zone when discussing these issues with our kids, its for the better for all in the long run.
- Attacked physically, bullied, set upon one night when out, or hit by a partner. All prospects are enough to keep me dreading when they start venturing out into the world without me.
- Suicide, it doesn’t matter where or who carried out the research on suicide all the stats show a similar picture. Young men in Ireland find this world a hard place. There’s more people die each year from suicide in Ireland than in car accidents. For all the young peoples lives that are no more, there are empty places in their parents home. I don’t ever want that empty place in our home.
- Driving. I’m dreading the day they come home & they say they want to learn how to drive. The cost of insurance, the arguments that go with teaching them to drive, them asking can they collect friends to go out, incase they all end up in an accident. I hope after 17 years of been an unpaid taxi driver that I find the strength not to hand the keys over that quickly to them. I wouldn’t give them a loaded weapon easily & a car in the wrong teenagers hand is just that.
So there you have it, 13 Reasons Why summed up in 13 Reasonable Parents Fears.
Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to talk to the kids about the importance of vocations, travelling the world as a missionary & living in a seminary.