In the short story "Charles", do Laurie's parents have good parenting skills?  Why or why not?

Expert Answers
lisacoyotesfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer would seem to be yes and no.  In one way they are good parents.  They provide food, shelter, love and caring for their children.  It is evident when Laurie "swaggers off" to school how much the mom misses having her "little boy" at home.  They also seem to understand that negative behavior at school can be a bad influence and they show genuine concern about it.  Also, the mom is involved in the PTO, at least as her schedule allows.

The second part of this answer would be no, in regard to their attitude to Laurie's behavior at home.  He spills his sister's milk, he talks back to his father, he calls his father a "dust mop".  Very little is done to reprimand this behavior.  The one time the father does reprimand him, he continues his deplorable behavior.  I think they may also be sending a mixed message in their zeal for the next tale of Charles because all that is doing is allowing Laurie to relive and enjoy his school time antics.

They seem like loving, caring parents but they are a bit naive and a bit thick when it comes to their own child's behavior.

aoibhinn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We do not know enough about them, but it certainly seems as though Laurie's parents are fine parents.  His behavior starts at school and then moves to the home.  When he misbehaves in front of them, he is reprimanded, but they do not know what goes on at school with "Charles."  Also, his mother attends all school functions - not likely with a bad parent.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question