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5 months ago
5 Reasons To Book Your Tickets To Watch Wonder Now!

Rich, poor, young, old, normal, weird, freak, short, tall, smart, slow, black, white, thin, fat. I am fairly certain that each one of us has used these labels at one point or another in our lives to describe another human being. While adults possess the capacity to judge and evaluate a person based on who they really are; it is very rare that children possess the same capability. Their view of the world is quite short-sighted.

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One of the main qualities that we as parents hope our children acquire is kindness. Every child is born with the ability to be kind; however, it is a quality which requires nurturing. Children learn from examples set around them. We hope that our children accept others regardless of who they are, where they come from or what they look like. However, this is easier said than done.

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‘Wonder’ is a movie which hits home for every mother. Hands-down one of the best movies of 2017, it addresses the phenomenon of bullying. Auggie Pullman, a lively young kid is born with a rare medical facial deformity and has been home-schooled for the first few years of his life. The story begins when his parents decide to send him to a regular school. The movie’s hashtag #ChooseKind says it all.

5 Reasons Why You Should See Wonder With Your Child

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Teach Your Child About Empathy – The movie sheds light on the harsh reality of the inability of children to accept and empathize. Julian, who meets Auggie initially to give him a tour of the school sees his facial deformity and labels him a ‘freak’ to him almost instantly. The emotional bullying that takes place is what happens in schools across the world. Children can be cruel and insensitive and if we don’t guide them it will become a part of their character and surface at every stage in life

Don’t Judge A Book By The Cover – Due to his deformity, Auggie considers himself to be different and this is reinforced by many of his peers throughout the movie. He wonders if his facial deformity is always going to matter when it comes to being accepted by others around him. He is assumed to be ‘slow’ due to his home-schooling, when in fact he proves to be the smartest student in his class. So teach your child not to label others so easily. They’ll probably learn a thing or two from them.

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Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated – Each mother secretly prays that her child is not a ‘loner’ and will always be surrounded by a group of friends. We sometimes tend to forget that no one can change the way they look, but we can change the way we see. Instead of urging our children to sit at the popular table in school, a stepping stone for them to become empathetic human beings would be encouraging them to sit with the ‘loner’ and be inclusive.

Bullying Is Wrong – There is rampant bullying whether emotional, physical or mental all around us and it’s not only the kids who are responsible. This is the reality even among us parents today. ‘Kids will be kids’ is a statement that you’ll hear often when bullying is addressed. This is the starting point for children to behave however they want without any limits being set. Simply put, if we as parents do not take time out to help our children understand that bullying is wrong, how will they know?

It’s OK To Be Different – Teaching children to imagine themselves in another child’s shoes to make them understand things is a challenging task. They relate to others who like the same things as them, talk the same way and look a certain way, and anyone else who does not conform is considered ‘different’. Auggie’s attitude is inspiring and reveals how brave he truly is, knowing he will have to face the bullies when he returns to school each day. We need to teach them that it’s OK to be different and like or do things which others don’t. The label of ‘cool kids’ is not actually that cool.

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Now at 35 and with two boys of my own whose characters are being shaped as I write this, I tell them that we will always cross paths with people who are different than and that is the reality. They are still equal to everyone else around them. I grab every opportunity I have to tell them to be kind as everyone fights hard battles, including children who have to learn to equip themselves with immense strength despite their own individual set of differences. This to me is empathy. We as parents need to empower ourselves to help our children help others.

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