Parenting Tips From Gandalf

So you’re not a demi-god. And you don’t have time to live through a few Ages of Middle Earth before you get this parenting gig squared away. I hear you. We can’t all be Gandalf.

But we can all benefit from the wisdom of Gandalf. You don’t have to be a hobbit or a a dwarf to relate to his teachings.

I’ve scoured Middle Earth for parenting tips and tricks and compiled the sagest advice from the Istari.

We all want to do right by our halflings, don’t we?

  • Don’t Get Too Comfy 1 of 10
    Don't Get Too Comfy
    Gandalf appreciates a cozy fire and a well-stocked larder. Why do you think he returns to The Shire so often? But, as Gandalf well knows, a hobbit can get too comfortable if he doesn't venture out into the world every now and again. You launch adventures from home and when they are finished, you return. You won't appreciate it until you leave. Note to young moms: Get out of the house. Note to college-aged children: Get out of the house.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Small Things Keep Evil at Bay 2 of 10
    Small Things Keep Evil at Bay
    Gandalf believes it is the small things that keep evil at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love may do more to quell the fires of Mordor than a grand gesture like destroying the ring. Take comfort, parents: You're changing the world with family dinner.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Honor Your Ancestry 3 of 10
    Honor Your Ancestry
    Gandalf knows that Bilbo is more than just a Baggins. His mother was a Took with fairy blood and an adventurous spirit. Gandalf saw potential in Bilbo and gave him the opportunity to live up to it. Teach your children about their forbears and expect them to live up to their heritage.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Don’t Be So Judgey 4 of 10
    Don't Be So Judgey
    Gandalf is no respecter of persons and he's famous for creating mixed-race companies and eclectic fellowships. He sees the honor and loyalty of dwarves where others see only stuborness. He pushes people to be more accepting and less bigoted. We would be wise to encourage our children the same way.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Use Such Strength and Heart and Wits As You Have 5 of 10
    Use Such Strength and Heart and Wits As You Have
    Why were you chosen to be your children's parent? Such questions cannot be answered. You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not possess: not for powers or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have. Gandalf said that. . . most of that.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Be Merciful 6 of 10
    Be Merciful
    Gandalf tells Bilbo that true courage is about knowing not when to take a life but when to spare one. Later, Gandalf schools Frodo about pity with, "Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over." My heart tells me that my kids are a lot like Gollum.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Use Time Wisely 7 of 10
    Use Time Wisely
    "I wish the ring had never come to me," said Frodo. "Oh cry me an Anduin river!" said Gandalf. Actually he said, "All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us." Children are in our care for such a relatively short time, but you'll have Facebook forever. Choose wisely.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • It’s All Right to Cry 8 of 10
    It's All Right to Cry
    Gandalf's not just a tough guy, "I will not say do not weep for not all tears are evil." He honors emotions instead of eating them. Or there's the hobbit's entirely acceptable way of dealing: 2nd breakfast and elevenses.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • Set Firm Boundaries 9 of 10
    Set Firm Boundaries
    Children need boundaries. As they get older they will test boundaries by pushing limits. Take a cue from Gandalf when he encounters the Balrog, "You shall not pass!" Nothing gets past mom and dad.
    Photo Credit: Wikia
  • I Can Carry You 10 of 10
    I Can Carry You
    Inevitably, children will go through rough stuff. When they do, we as parents feel helpless. It's in those moments we would do best to take a page out of Samwise Gamgee's book. If your child is ever taxed with an insufferable burden, there is only one thing to tell them and it is this: Let us be rid of it for once and for all! Come on, I can't carry it for you but I can carry you!
    Photo Credit: Wikia

My review of The Hobbit, here.

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Rough Stuff My Kids Will Experience (And I Dread)

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