Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To Parent like Dumbledore

By Kelly

My brother got me a set of Harry Potter books for Christmas. It was a good gift, seeing as I somehow managed to escape the whole Potter phenomenon. I had just been telling my husband that I would really like to read the series someday -- which, now that I think about it, is probably how it came to be under our Christmas tree.

Naturally, I've been riveted ever since I started "The Sorcerer's Stone." I'm on "The Half-Blood Prince" now, which is book six in the series. I can't say this reading binge has been particularly good for my children, who've heard me say, "as soon as Mommy is finished with this chapter," with alarming frequency the last few weeks.

But it has done this: It has given me a new role model. I've decided I want to parent like Dumbledore.

I want to interact with my children the way Dumbledore interacts with Harry. He's kind and patient and wise. When Harry rants, Dumbledore waits. When Harry asks too many questions, Dumbledore gently reminds him that answers will come in time. He seems impossible to frustrate or fluster. I doubt Dumbledore would ever shout at the students of Hogwarts, "Hurry up and finish your breakfast! How many times have I told you, we've got to go!"

No matter what's going on around him, he maintains an aura of strength and authority. He obviously cares for Harry, but he isn't about to let him skip detention when he defies a teacher. He is supremely powerful, as is befitting one of the most powerful wizards of his time, yet it's power held in check. It's a power he controls, not a power that controls him.

I say this, of course, because I often find myself parenting in an opposite vein. I am harried and distracted. I don't listen well. I feel controlled by outside circumstances, like I'm always reacting instead of acting.

So, for the next few weeks, I'm going to keep Dumbledore in mind as I go about my day. I'm the kind of person who responds best to real-life scenarios, so reading about his interactions with Harry, although imaginary, are helpful to me. I'm going to try, with God's help, to mimic his example.

Also, the ability to work a good quietus charm would come in handy once in a while. I wonder if I could get my hand on a semi-used wand anywhere?

Once she finishes the Harry Potter series, Kelly will resume blogging at Love Well.


  1. Oh wow- now I really want to read them. I thought I was the only one left that hasn't read one yet!


  2. I love the Potter books, not surprised you have made it to bok 6 already, they are great to read. Never thought about how Dumbledore reacts to life but now you put it that way, definitely makes you think.
    Maybe I need to go back and read the books again and pick up from it all that you have mentioned

  3. Dumbledore is a great parenting role model, although I think that I'd like my kids to be more certain of my love than Harry is of Albus's.
    And lucky you, getting to read the Harry books for the first time!

  4. Although I admire a lot about Dumbledore, I agree with Beck that he's more aloof than I would want to be as a parent. Although the story ends up explaining Dumbledore's frequent Harry-avoidance (which does give Harry a chance to be independent,) I would want to be a lot more available than Dumbledore often is.