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The Willoughbys – Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide:

  1. Many times, during the movie Tim states that they should or shouldn’t do something because ‘We are Willoughby’s!” He places significance on his last name and being a part of that family, despite being mistreated by them. Why do you think being a Willoughby is so important to Tim?
    Caregiver Note: When the movie first starts the narrator tells us that the parents give nothing to Tim except for his name- this may be one of the primary reasons he is so attached to it. It’s the one positive thing he got from his parents. We also see in several scenes Tim looking at family history through paintings or books and wishing he knew his extended family. Everyone longs to feel like they are a part of something, especially children who have been abused or neglected. For Tim, being a Willoughby is what gives him this feeling of belonging to something bigger- not just his parents who don’t love him, but generations of other Willoughbys who maybe would have. Also, at the end of the day all children want their parents to be proud of them, and Tim’s insistence on holding up The Willoughby Name, may be…

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About the Author: Jenn Ehlers

Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.


**Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.

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Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.

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