We all know that being a parent is no walk in the park. The responsibility of nurturing and shaping a child to grow up to be good, productive individuals entails hard work. Often, you're second-guessing if you're doing a good job, making the right decisions for your child's future.
It's even more challenging if you are a parent to a child who does not fit the mold that society thinks is "normal." And that applies not just to parents of kids with disabilities or special needs, but also for parents whose children are considered different or odd, whether in appearance or behavior.
The same responsibility lies on the shoulders of parents of typical kids. We need to teach them that the world is full of diversity in small and big ways. Being different doesn't necessarily mean it's bad -- and both kids and grown-ups need to be reminded of it sometimes.
Teaching our kids about inclusion, open-mindedness, dignity, and respect can be a beautiful and heartwarming experience with the movie Wonder. Production company Lionsgate has recently released its first trailer, and it stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, the award-nominated child actor from Academy Award-winning 2015 film Room.
Directed by Stephen Chbosky, Wonder tells the fictional story of a 10-year-old incoming Grade 5 student, Auggie Pullman. It's his first time to go to a regular school, and he has every reason to be scared. Auggie has had 27 surgeries so he can breathe, see, and hear without hearing aids, but it has left his face disfigured.
The central theme revolves around choosing kindness, as Auggie shows everyone that he is just like an ordinary kid, no different than the rest. Parents, take a cue from Auggie's parents on how to help kids overcome life's challenges. Auggie’s extraordinary journey hopes to prove that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
There's a line in the trailer that just tugged at our heartstrings. "Dear God, please make them be good to him." If you don't tear up or at least smile before you finish watching the trailer, then we don't know what will. Watch:
The movie is slated to be shown in the U.S. later this year, but we have no idea when or even if it will be shown here. The good news is the film is based on the 2012 best-selling children's novel of the same name by Raquel Jaramillo, published under the pen name R. J. Palacio. She wrote the book after her son saw a girl with facial defects. Jaramillo attempted to remove her son from the situation for fear that he would react badly, eventually realizing that she could have used the incident as an opportunity to teach a valuable life lesson.
Apart from the novel, Jaramillo had also released companion books Auggie and Me, a three-story compilation telling the events in Wonder from different perspectives, and 365 Days of Wonder, the collection of rules to live by from Auggie's fifth-grade teacher Mr. Brown. So we encourage you to read the book first.
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Wonder, P365, Auggie and Me, P595, and 365 Days of Wonder, P359, National Book Store (P1,845 for a boxed set). Wonder opens in cinemas in November 17 (U.S).