Laurie's mother worries that "kindergarten is unsetting for Laurie" why does she worry about Charles's behavior?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story Charles, Shirley Jackson creates a story anyone with children can understand. Like mothers everywhere, Laurie's mother worries about Charles's behavior because Charles may be a negative influence on her own son Laurie.  Children tend to learn from each other, and Laurie is very interested in what Charles does each day, taking delight in telling his parents about each exploit.  Mom worries that Laurie may start acting like Charles. The sad part of this story is that Laurie's parents never really question or pay close attention to Laurie and his day at school, but only question what Charles did.  Laurie is their child, and yet in reality he is ignored far more than Charles.  As parents, they leave much to be desired which is why I think Laurie makes Charles the exciting part of his day telling his parents about Charles' antics. At least they will pay attention to the stories if not to him, and making Charles take the blame for the behavior leaves Laurie as the "good child."