Archive | September, 2019

lesson 3 (of 7) trust choices: in this first of ‘Dumbledore’s parenting don’ts …

16 Sep


Parents: don’t make all the choices for your children, so they are never, ever empowered

Don’t be a Dumbledore.

Dumbledore makes all of Harry’s choices. From Harry’s birth to his death- Dumbledore chooses. After James’ and Lily’s deaths, Albus places the baby Harry with the Dursleys; (yes- Harry needs physical protection, but why not keep Harry with himself?…and for 11 years and no communication?) Then to protect Harry’s mind, Albus has Harry in Snape’s care. Harry hates Snape. Snape teaches Occlumency with hate to Harry. Dumbledore avoids Harry as he must protect his own thoughts from Voldemort and all others. So Snape teaches Harry. (And Snape shares all his mind as he dies, freely, with Harry: Snape trusts Harry to choose wisely as Harry holds Snape’s humiliations, love and remorse.

Yet, in contrast, Dumbledore is always withholding information from Harry: who had the invisibility cloak and why; how to destroy a horcrux; why he trusts Snape so; and that Harry must die, willingly at Voldemort’s hand. And when Harry begins to doubt, Ron and Hermione tell him to….

But trusting a parent who is not willing to listen or talk with you, is not a choice. It is a power abuse situation where the child is always/ all ways trying to win over the untrusting, unloving parent.

But this can’t be done by trusting a parent who does not desire/can trust you-their child. Nothing can be done here.

Though Dumbledore famously tells Harry, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. …) Dumbledore himself does not believe this. He certainly does not live it through his early, middle and late life. As Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth tells Harry in Hogs Head pub: it has always been about Albus’ search for more and more abilities. Harry, an impossible task?…little, not enough information? … youthful wizards?

Harry is seen by the parent Dumbledore as an extension of himself:

Harry is Dumbledore’s horcux.

Parents do not try to live beyond, thru your children. They are not horcruxs.

Then think as Harry…

“Harry thought of Godric’s Hollow, of graves Dumbledore had never mentioned there; he thought of mysterious objects left with-out explanation in Dumbledore’s will, and resentment swelled in the darkness. Why hadn’t Dumbledore told him? Why hadn’t he explained? Had Dumbledore actually cared about Harry at all? Or had Harry been nothing more than a tool to be polished and honed, but not trusted, never confided in?”

What is then is the first, the overarching, the essential- don’t of parenting don’ts?

Don’t don’t not trust your children to make their own choices. From clothes to red shoes; from ice creams to boy/girl friends, from piazza toppings to college, trust your children to their own first seemingly little choices and then their seemingly larger choices.

Trust their choices; not your own for them.


lesson 2 (of 7) choices: ‘Dumbledore’s parenting do’s …. ‘This is, as they say, your party.’

15 Sep

via lesson 2 (of 7) choices: ‘Dumbledore’s parenting do’s …. ‘This is, as they say, your party.’

lesson 2 (of 7) choices: ‘Dumbledore’s parenting do’s …. ‘This is, as they say, your party.’

15 Sep

lesson 2 (of 7) choices

In the chapter entitled ‘King’s Cross’ Harry Potter awakes in a clear, empty white space. Having just fought Lord Voldemort, Harry is whole physically, yet removed from the earth.

Only a seemingly raw baby’s (under a bench) sad cries, is heard.

Again and again.

Only a surrogate father-Dumbledore- approaches Harry in this clean white space. It is as clean as Harry’s, nakedness, then as his new robes and finally, as his forehead- now without his lightning scar.nothing bonds him anymore, Harry is free.

As Harry and Albus move away from the child, they discuss where they are.

While Dumbledore has no idea, Harry ventures his guess: to Harry it seems like King’s Cross. Dumbledore agrees.

Harry, in an empty clean railway station, is paused on his journey. Where is he going? Dumbledore says ‘ on’ to Harry’s query. He cannot reveal any definitive answers of future choices, paths for Harry. To do so would be to heavily colour Harry’s future path.

Albus can not; will not; be may not be able to speak to Harry’s future steps. No. The choice is now Harry’s. This is Dumbledore’s release: no plans; no more willed gifts/legacies. No more withholding of information from Harry. Things have ‘opened at the close.’

Harry does ask if he should go back to the Earth; the forest; to Hogwarts. To Ginny.

Dumbledore states in response that he does not know the outcome if Harry returns. Dead, Albus is relieved of knowledge of the future. He can offer a guess. He only knows that Harry – as the ‘ better man’ – can relieve the hurts of others by returning.

And Harry can only do so by his own choice. Not Dumbledore’s or Snape’s; Not Voldemort’s or the Dursley’s.

The ‘Chosen One’ now gets to choose. This is Dumbledore’s lasting gift to the ‘boy who lived’: freedom to go on or to return. Harry returns to Voldemort for a final confrontation. A final battle.

He returns.

Any parent or grandparent; any mentor or family member must eventually open their hand and let go or a child. The choice is not really given to the child by the (surrogate) parent though. It is truly given by the parent to him/herself.

Dumbledores, when they stop trying to control their children emotionally, physically and/or spiritually, free themselves to ‘go on,’

Both parents and child are released to their choices. Our choices open and we go on.