In Wonder, how does Auggie’s family help him get through difficult situations as he struggles to fit in at school?

Quick answer:

Auggie’s parents are both encouraging and overprotective in trying to help him with the difficulties of fitting in. They often allow him to bring up hard topics rather than ask about them. Sometimes they encourage him to try new experiences, such as camp. His mother is often overprotective but supports doing family activities together, such as attending his sister’s play.

Expert Answers

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August’s parents worry about both his physical and emotional well-being. Although they understand that going to Beecher will be challenging, they seem to underestimate the extent of the bullying he will encounter there. While they occasionally ask direct questions about his experiences, they often leave it for Auggie to bring up such topics. One example is his mother reading to him rather than inquire further about his first day.

Their methods of helping their son include encouraging him to try new things that are typical for boys his age. This approach is shown when they send him to sleep-away camp. His mother, however, is often concerned about how other people will react to him. She tends to be overprotective and favors avoiding potentially difficult experiences. One example of this is her initial hesitation about his having a large birthday party, as she worries the invited children will decline.

The attention they pay to August, although necessary to help a seriously ill child, contributes to their daughter feeling neglected. Olivia is encouraging to August, especially when he talks about leaving school, but sometimes tries to distance herself from him. An example occurs when she gets a lead role in the play. Although she would prefer that Auggie stay home, fearing that audience members will stare at him, their parents realize the importance of attending as a family.

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