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What Harry Potter Taught Me About Parenting

By Kacy Faulconer |

I wish I had grown up reading Harry Potter, but my oldest son was born the year the first book came out.

My husband started reading the books out loud to him at bedtime when he was 5 or 6. I wasn’t into it–Daddy time meant free time for me. But I got hooked toward the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone. Since then we’ve read them all out loud and seen all the movies.

So I experienced the Harry Potter series as a grown up–if you can call a person with their own wooden wand and dress robes “grown up.” The books are wonderful. They have become a delightful part of our family culture and I’ve learned a thing or two about parenting from the series.

Read below for 20 parenting insights I learned from Harry Potter. (Some Spoilers!)

1. Choose good friends. Make sure your kids have good friends. I hate to think what could have happened if Harry had fallen in with a different lot.

2. Make back to school a big deal. With the shops and fun of Diagon Alley to look forward to, who wouldn’t be excited to go back-to-school shopping in the fall?

3. Family is most important. Even if they are as horrible as the Dursleys and you don’t understand–Dumbledore sent you there for a reason. Even the Mafloys found some redemption by keeping their family together.

4. Embrace their quirks. Celebrate, encourage, embrace, and love the quirkiest of their quirks. No one knows this better than the Lovegoods and even Seamus Finnigan’s penchant for fireworks comes in handy in the end.

5. Make them feel like there’s no place like home. My goal is to make my home feel as warm and cozy as The Burrow. It doesn’t take a lot of money–The Weasleys aren’t rich!

6. Warn them about evil in case they encounter if face to face. You have to prepare them. You don’t do them any favors pretending you-know-who isn’t real.

7. Make sure they respect their teachers. You might encounter 1 or 2 bad ones, but most teachers are pulling for your children and can serve as remarkable mentors–Especially against dementors.

8. Go all out for Christmas. Wizards live life and decorate for Christmas with gusto.

9. Encourage your kids to do what they love. Fred and George left Hogwarts to start Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. It was a great success.

10. Do not dabble in the dark arts. PERIOD.

11. Love your children’s friends. Hug them, cook for them, help them shop, give them Christmas presents and good advice. Obliterate any nasty death eaters who lay a hand on them–also knit them sweaters.

12. Some kids are just late bloomers. Remember that, and don’t despair of big ears and crooked teeth.

13. Encourage them to read and do their homework. Knowing things really does come in handy some times–Could even save the world!

14. Treat all living things with kindness and respect. “Dobby is happy to be with his friend. . . Harry Potter.” Giant tear.

15. Sometimes we sort too soon. Dumbledore was right–Sometimes we sort too soon. With a little insight into a person we might think differently about them and, even, name our son after him.

16. The protective power of mother love. The sacrifice and love of your mother can keep you safe for at least 17 years. That’s big mojo. Don’t mess with it.

17. Help will always come to those who deserve it. Maybe life isn’t always fair, but goodness will prevail. Yes. I believe that. So does Godric Gryffindor.

18. Try hard. Try, try, keep trying, even if you’re small or young. Try until it’s over.

19. Be friends first. Like Ron and Hermione. See what happens from there.

20. Marry your equal. It’s OK if she can beat you at quidditch.

Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News

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About Kacy Faulconer

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Kacy Faulconer

I'm Kacy Faulconer. I'm your friend. Read more from me at Every Day I Write the Book. Read bio and latest posts → Read Kacy's latest posts →

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24 thoughts on “What Harry Potter Taught Me About Parenting

  1. Josh says:

    Awesome. Truly Awesome. That picture on Neville with the sword makes me choke up. I love Neville.

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      I love Neville too.For a long time I thought he was the “chosen one” because his birthday is close to Harry’s. He does kill the last horcrux.

  2. ~j. says:

    Sometimes we sort too soon. [gulp, wipes tear]

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      Always.

  3. Dede says:

    Love that you put it together like this. I feel like it was just for me. I can do better on some of these.

  4. Naomi says:

    Oh, how I love this post!

  5. Angela says:

    This post is going to be our family home evening tonight. Love this!

  6. Lisa says:

    I love this! And so will my kids. I really hope you knit them a sweater for Christmas this year…

  7. Heidi Totten says:

    This is my favorite post.

  8. Nichole says:

    You got me all choked up. I love Harry Potter as well. I actually didn’t start reading them in college until I asked my boyfriend who this Harry Potter guy was that I kept hearing threw an awesome Halloween party and then he gave me Book 1 for Christmas. I totally married him. :)

    Great list. Well done. I keep thinking there must be another one or two or five in their about life and death too.

  9. Nichole says:

    Oh. It’s too close to midnight. I wrote “their” instead of “there”. How can I make this better? Let’s say I meant “in ‘their’ amazing story of living and learning”. Oy vey.

  10. Rita says:

    21. It’s not who we are that defines us, but our choices. Dumbledore was in possession of the most powerful wand in the world, yet he chose to not use that power unless forced to. We all have good and evil within us, but it’s the choices we make, for good or evil, that determine our fate. Evil cannot thrive in us when we remember who we are and why we are here.

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      That’s definitely #21. Good one.

  11. jodi says:

    It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends…

    Best post ever read on Babble!

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      Thanks so much for reading. Long live Harry Potter!

  12. Lynde says:

    #21 would really be 20. Where was # 16?

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      Woopsie. Thanks!

  13. Lara K says:

    OMG… this may be the best thing ever written. LOVE it! Thank you! Totally agree on all counts. Can’t wait to read these books to my little one (she’s only 2, so it will be a while before I can) and re-live them all through her eyes!

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      I know! My 9 year old has two more books to go and I’ve got a 5 year old waiting in the wings. . .

  14. Hailey says:

    SO so great, Kacy.

  15. Heather says:

    Wonderful! I, too was planning to use this as a magical FHE! I think I will pin it now.

  16. Barb @ getupandplay says:

    Holy cow, I loved this post so much!

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      I’m so glad you took a look at it! Thanks for commenting.

  17. Amy says:

    I really loved this post! This muggle mom thanks you.

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