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  • Reason #4 to Engage: You Can Model How to Judge (Without Being Judgmental)

    13 Reasons Why Can Help You be a Better Role Model
    by: Dr. Bill Clark
    “Artists always get there first!” - Dr. Steve Garber, author of The Fabric of Faithfulness
    The past few weeks we’ve walked through a series called “Reasons to Engage,” focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. If you’re just joining us, I’d encourage you to read the complete series here.
    The reviews for the Netflix’ show, 13 Reasons Why, range from glowing, to dismissive, to highly critical. Obviously, adults are cautioning kids about the graphic nature of the show and the seriousness of the topics—especially teen suicide—while some parents are prohibiting watching altogether. 
    Understandably, everyone fears a rash of suicide threats or attempts, or an increase in victimizing behaviors after being exposed to the show.  While these warnings about the show seem valid, the prohibitions seem overly cautious and short sighted.

    The series, and the story…

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  • Reason to Engage #3: It Can Be a Conversation Starter with Kids

    13 Reasons Why Can Start Valuable Conversations with Kids
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    The past few weeks we have been walking through a series entitled, Reasons to Engage, focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. In this series we are looking at what value you can draw from the show, and ultimately addressing the question, "should we engage in the conversation around 13 Reasons Why, teen suicide, and some of the dark topics that is addresses?" 
    The show, 13 Reasons Why, provides a natural but difficult opportunity to enter into the world of kids, especially your own. But we cannot engage until we’ve earned the right to ask questions or invite a discussion by watching the show with an open mind.

    We cannot engage until we’ve earned the right to ask questions or invite a discussion by watching the show with an open mind.

    Obviously, many kids will deny watching, downplay any significant impact from watching it, or resist…

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  • Reason to Engage #2: It Exposes Powerful Questions About Life

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    13 Reasons Why Exposes Powerful Questions About Life 
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    The past few weeks we have been walking through a series entitled, Reasons to Engage, focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. (Read the series). 
    The show captured something (the risk, the drama, the danger, the power) of the current adolescent culture. It’s estimated that millions of kids, ages 10 and up, have watched and resonated in some way. That many kids becomes a number that screams at us— “There is something here!”
    Many kids were compelled to spend 13 hours doing something behind their parents back— lying about it if need be. Kids are identifying with it—young kids, “normal” kids, church kids, innocent kids, aware kids, depressed kids, hurt kids. That fact alone should capture us and make us ask ourselves, “What is it about this story/show that is so compelling?”

    Kids are identifying with the show. That fact alone should capture us.

    Reason…

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  • Reason to Engage #1: Step into the Uncomfortable

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    Reason to Engage #1: Adults Should Be Willing to Step into the Uncomfortable
    Why would any adult who cares about, raises, counsels, teaches, or works with kids watch the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why?
    Because you care about young people. Because you know it’s hard to be a kid today (and a parent). Because you know kids need to be seen, known, and not left alone.

    Kids need to be seen, known, and not left alone.

    This show dramatically presents various realities students of all ages experience. It helps kids to see fictional characters dealing with some of the treachery and risks they are familiar with already.  It gives them a voice and a context (“Why is this happening to me?”). It models, for kids who silently struggle, the need to confide in someone. “Healthier” or more caring peers may be inspired to take risks to support and engage struggling friends or classmates. 13 Reasons…

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  • Reasons to Engage “13 Reasons Why”

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    Reasons to Engage "13 Reasons Why" 
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    Over the next 6 weeks, we’re posting a series of blogs discussing the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 book.

    If you haven't heard about it yet, the show 13 Reasons Why depicts the trials of a teen named Hannah, who decides to end her life after episodes of bullying, voyeurism, rejection, betrayal and sexual assault (as both a witness and victim). The viewer cannot help but see and feel the cumulative diet of shame and injury wear her down and deplete her resolve.  In a bizarre (and unlikely until now[1]) act of care, vengeance, explanation, and/or confession, she leaves tapes targeting the 13 relationships/events that led to her decision.
    My Concern
    I first took notice because school systems sent statements home to parents warning them about the show, a rare occurrence. Then two of the McLean Presbyterian Church fellows watched and shared…

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LCI was a turning point in my life. I have always had a desire to comfort those as I have been comforted, but I always felt so inadequate in doing so. After attending LCI training, I came away with a deeper sense of who I am in Christ and gained so many valuable insights to give hope to the hurting. Learning what a healing community looks like has been my experience with the LCI ministry.

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