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

16 Sep

don’t…

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.

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