Harry Potter and the Job of Parents?
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Harry Potter and the Job of Parents?

Been reading Bob McKenzie's book "Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child", which I highly recommend to parents who are blessed with "aggressive researchers", commonly known as headstrong kids.
McKenzie's recommendations track closely (with a few exceptions) to those of STEP and Positive Discipline: clear messages, firm but kind responses, immediate move to action steps vs. constant nagging or "dancing".
It reminded me the comical scene in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (you have read it right?-- the final movie episode is due out soon) where the Hogwarts students get their first lesson in Apparition from beleaguered Ministry wizard Wilkie Twycross.
For the uninitiated, Apparition is the ability to disappear magically from one place and reappear simultaneously in another. Twycross' job is to convey to 16-year-old wizards the knack for this rather dangerous undertaking-- sort of like driving lessons.
His instructions are thus: "The important things to remember when Apparating are the three D's! DESTINATION! DETERMINATION! DELIBERATION!
How appropriate for us as parents--
1) DESTINATION!= Patience. Keep in mind the long-term goal-- we are raising the next generation of adults. A marathon, not a sprint. Your job as a parent is much more than the little things you do everyday, and yet it's the sum of these very things that help make our children the adults they will be.
2) DETERMINATION!= Focus. Once you spend a little energy thinking about your values and what's important in your life, don't be sidetracked by other pressures into losing sight of them. Your kids won't know your values unless you are certain of them and constantly demonstrate them in action. Remember that the culture is marketing something-- ideas, toys, dreams-- to our kids round the clock. Don't let it have more influence on your kids than you do.
3) DELIBERATION!= Purpose. Resolute, firm, persistent, decisive-- let these be your trademarks in the eyes of your children. They need that guiding light in a world of grays, half-truths, and muddled morality.
Of course it's hard. How much of worthwhile comes easy?
So-- let's go do some magic.

8 Comments to Harry Potter and the Job of Parents?:

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Josie Hunt on Friday, June 24, 2011 1:41 PM
What a great author/series to quote from, Liz!! What truth lies in that message...especially for parents...it's true! In parenting we do need to work magic...it's somewhat a work of art. If you genuinley stay true to yourself...your children...your family...your morals...the journey of our lives with our children will be of happiness.
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Liz on Friday, June 24, 2011 2:46 PM
Thanks Jo! Beautifully said. I find a lot of wisdom in Rowling's work-- she knows a thing or two about values. And comedy. Hope you are well!!

Karen on Monday, June 27, 2011 12:28 PM
I love the 3 Ds! I've read all the Harry Potter books and agree that there are tons of lessons in them. I never thought of the 3 Ds for parenting before so thanks for sharing this post. It will help me focus and be a better parent!
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Kipp on Monday, June 27, 2011 10:31 PM
All I can say is that I wish I was one of the students learning the lesson of Apparition - it would come in quite handy during many of my battles with my "aggressive researcher"! HA! Thanks for sharing the post - I will keep trying to work magic! AUGH!!!! HA! HA! HA!
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Norvy Elliot on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:19 AM
Liz: what a great analogy; and so true! Thanks for the insight and the encouragement.... we parents need it :)
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Maria on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 9:43 PM
You couldn't be more on target, bravo! I thought that now my kids are 23 & 21 my role would have lessened from your points made, NOT. Turns out they need us much when they transition from college just as much as preschool.
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kate winters on Sunday, September 25, 2011 8:08 AM
Great blog.
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Blue Life on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:03 PM
Still a great blog my friend.
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