Chapter 14 – Are You Seeing Things Correctly? – Kids’ Discussion

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Another chapter that is full of happenings.

  • Hermione is driving Harry and Ron crazy about studying for exams.
  • All three kids want to know what Snape is up to.
  • Everyone is curious about how to get past Fluffy and the other enchantments.
  • Hagrid has a dragon egg!

After reading this chapter, our family began a discussion on the dragon egg story. We all found it interesting how Hagrid treated the dragon. What did you notice about Hagrid’s care for the dragon?

Here’s what our adopted kiddos noted about the dragon as a pet – reality:

  • Norbert is going to be way too big for a home.
  • Dragons bite and their bites are quite dangerous.
  • A dragon could burn your home to the ground.
  • Baby dragons seem to be independent – they can take care of themselves.

However, the kids noted this about Hagrid:

  • Hagrid desperately wanted a dragon and ignored the dangers to get what he very much wanted in life.
  • Hagrid treated the dragon as if it were helpless – like a baby human.

As we read about the situation with Norbert the baby dragon, there was a lot of laughing and jaws dropping in surprise. The whole situation just seems comical and ridiculous. One of my kids asked, “Why can’t he see what is really happening?”

This brought us to a conversation about how we all do the same thing. The kids had to think for a bit about this one. They just didn’t think there was any way that they could be like Hagrid. We do it all the time though in everyday life and with special foster care circumstances.

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Foster/Adoptive Specific:

  • My daughter told us that she believed that being put into foster care was her fault. She thought at first that if she could just behave long enough she would get to return to her biological home. She saw the situation like Hagrid. She now says that she knows she couldn’t stay at her home because her mom couldn’t take care of her properly. In fact it was dangerous.
  • My middle son explained that he had no clue what was happening when he went into foster care. He just saw the situation as adults doing mean things to him. In fact he thought his whole life was going to be a series of moves from one foster home to another. To him adoption was just something that the adults told him about but was not something that was really going to happen. Now he understands that caseworkers really were trying to keep him safe, they were searching for an adoptive home for him, and his biological home just was not safe.

Everyday Life:

  • My youngest son doesn’t like to brush his teeth. Can you relate to that? He brushes as fast as he can without hitting all the teeth with the brush. He only brushes his teeth so that mom and dad don’t get upset. He sees brushing teeth as a way of avoiding getting into trouble. The reality is he needs to brush his teeth so his teeth won’t get cavities and decay.
  • One of our kids doesn’t like to read – A LOT. Dad has required a chapter of reading from this person every night or else that person has to pay a dollar from their allowance. This kiddo sees reading as a possible way to lose money. In reality if this child doesn’t improve their reading, when it comes time, the school will not let them get a learner’s permit to drive. It will also affect what kind of job they will get in the future.

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IMPORTANT LESSON:

We learned in this chapter that even though Hagrid was seeing things in an odd way, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were not going to be able to change his mind. Why?! Hagrid really, really, REALY wanted a dragon and did not want to see reality. The trio wanted to keep their friend out of trouble, BUT it was not their responsibility.

As kids, you see adults and your friends do strange things all the time. It’s not up to you to help adults or friends to change their strange behavior. You are responsible for YOU. Foster kids want their biological parents to change so they can go home. Adopted kids (even our kiddos) want to go back and help their biological parents. However, my kids agree that until a person wants to change, they are NOT going to change. In some circumstances, they can’t change. There could be mental health or physical problems that keep them from being able to change their behavior.

You can show a morbidly obese person how to eat healthy, but you can’t teach someone born without legs how to walk.

It’s Normal to want Normal

At the end of our conversation about Chapter 14, my oldest son offered this thought. He explained that he really loved his adopted family. However, he really would like to be back in his biological home. He knows that there are good reasons for him being in his adoptive family, but he wishes that the issues were not there. All the kids agreed with him. It’s normal to want to live with the family you were born into. However, he is still glad for the family he has now.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What would be the scariest thing about owning a dragon for you?
  2. Is there a chore that you don’t like to do? Why do you have to do it?
  3. If you’re an adopted/foster child, why were you put into foster care?
  4. What did you learn from this chapter?

Help Other Kids and Families:

Share your ideas and thoughts about this blog in the comments below. Your comments and opinions will help other families as they discuss this topic in their own house.

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Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Chapter 13 – The Importance of Encouragement and Praise – Kid Discussion

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It is chapter 13 and we are back at another Quidditch match. Did you notice a big difference between this Quidditch match and the last one that we read about? Did you notice a big difference in Harry’s attitude between this game and the last game?
Our family talked a lot about the difference between the two games. It seems as though during the first game, Harry was quite nervous and scared. During this game he had a lot more confidence and actually was braver than his whole team and friends. While everyone else was nervous and scared that Professor Snape would be refereeing the game, Harry was quite confident that they needed to try to beat Hufflepuff so that they could do well in the Quidditch standings. Why was Harry so brave and confident this game?
Our family believes a lot of it had to do with the last game that Harry played in the book. In the last game people were encouraging Harry and making him feel confident about his talent to play seeker. Because of that confidence from last game, Harry was able to know that he could do a good job this game. He was able to draw on past successes and encouragement to face his fears.

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Encouragement Shapes Your Talents And Abilities

During this chapter, my adopted kids discussed times when people had cheered them on or encouraged them.

It was no surprise to hear my middle son talk about how he knows he is a good soccer player. How does he know this? While discussing chapter 13, he told me a story about how he knew he made a fantastic and daring goal during a game, because everyone around him was cheering for him. Another time he told me that people came up to him after a game and told him how great of a player he was and that just spurs him on in confidence knowing that he is very talented in soccer. Do you think he would like soccer if people told him he was awful? Do you think he would play as well at soccer if people laughed at him all the time?

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My daughter told me a story about a drawing she had created at school. Her class was asked to make chalk drawings of apples in kindergarten. Parents and teachers alike were all amazed at her drawing. In fact I remember going to pick her up from school, and a mob of parents told me to go down and look at the drawing that my daughter had created. I was amazed to see that I wasn’t the only one staring at its beauty. There were at least a dozen other parents and teachers looking at the artwork on the wall (which I need to get a better picture of as the one below doesn’t do it justice). My daughter to this day knows that she is talented at art because so many people have told her what a great job she has done with drawings, paintings, and crafts. Do you think she would feel differently about her artistic talent if everyone laughed at her pictures? Do you think that she would stop drawing if everyone told her how horrible her pictures looked?

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In both cases the encouragement and praise has caused my children to become more than just a soccer player or an artist. The encouragement has caused them to take their talents and push them farther. My son isn’t just a soccer player, he is a FEARLESS soccer player. My daughter isn’t just an artist, she is a CREATIVE individual. They both strive to do better in art, soccer, or whatever they are encouraged in because they believe they have a talent. Just like Harry was able to become a better, fearless Quidditch player.

We don’t think that any adoptive or foster family can overlook the importance of encouragement and praise. As a family we need to take the time to look at each other and recognize the things that each other are good at. We need to recognize where each other is talented. We need to do more than just see it; we need to speak about it. Foster and adoptive parents need to tell their kids the things that they see them do well. Foster and adoptive kids need to speak well about each other. And not only about the kids, but foster and adoptive kids need to tell their parents when they are doing something well.

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Now It’s Your Turn

  • Tell us about a time you were encouraged or praised by people.
  • What are you good at? How do you know that?
  • Kids, what have you seen your foster/adoptive parents do that really impresses you?
  • What did you think about this chapter?

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Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Chapter 12 – It’s a Holiday and I Want My Mommy – Kids Discussion

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Did you enjoy this chapter? Most everyone likes Christmas. Harry seems to have rather enjoyed this holiday at Hogwarts. However, this chapter isn’t only about Christmas. It’s also about Harry’s discovery of the Mirror of Erised and his feelings for the family that he has never seen.

Before we get into my adopted kids’ thoughts about this chapter, I want you to talk/think about a few questions.

  1. Why did Harry enjoy Christmas so much? How do you know he was having fun?
  2. How do you know Harry was having fun?
  3. How was Harry feeling when he found the mirror and saw his family?
  4. If Harry was having so much fun at Christmas, why did he seem so gloomy toward the end of the chapter?

Birthday-hogwarts-adoption-knoxville-tennesseeMy kids could relate with the sweaters that the Weasleys and Harry received as gifts. We don’t give everyone sweaters at Christmas BUT for them the sweaters were a Christmas tradition. We try to have certain traditions around most holidays.

  • New Year’s Eve – We have a small party with close friends to play board games and eat certain snack foods
  • Easter – We always watch a VeggieTales Easter cartoon. My wife creates small chocolates that are placed in a small chocolate basket. We color eggs and have an egg hunt.
  • 4th of July – We have a picnic before seeing fireworks.
  • Thanksgiving – We always make pumpkin juice.
  • Christmas – We always make gingerbread men. We also always have a special time where we set up a nativity and read the Christmas story. We watch a Charlie Brown Christmas Special.
  • Birthdays – We wake the person up with a song we made up and dog pile him/her. We decorate the birthday person’s FACE with icing before having birthday cake.

You might do some of these things in your family too, Why are they special then? These traditions are ways that our family connects and makes memories together. We think that even though not all the Weasleys seemed to enjoy their new sweaters, that they would be upset if they didn’t get one. It’s a tradition, and it helps to make Christmas feel special.

hogsmeade-snowman-harry-potter-adoption-foster-careEven though we have our tradition and spend time with each other connecting, there is still a sad point for all of our kids during any holiday or birthday. If you’re a foster/adopted kid, you probably experience this too. Even though you love your adopted/foster family, at some point when you are with your foster/adopted mom, you begin to think about your biological mom. My kids begin to wonder how it would be if their biological mom was laughing with them, making them a special cake, hugging them after opening presents, and so on. Harry experienced the same sadness. He saw his family in the mirror and wanted so bad for his mom to hold him.

Here are suggestions my kids give for dealing with that sad feeling that comes with missing your biological home:

  • Send your biological parent(s) photos (if possible).
  • Call your biological mom and/or dad on a holiday (if possible).
  • Tell your foster/adopted parent(s) that you need to talk about how sad you feel.
  • Tell your foster/adopted parent(s) that you need a hug because you miss your biological family.
  • Write down all the things you miss about your biological home.
  • Draw a picture of things you remember doing at your biological home.

My kids all agreed that even though holidays are a ton of fun, missing your biological home hurts. It’s not bad to miss your biological home, and it’s good to talk about it. Missing your biological family during holidays is a normal part of an adopted/foster kid’s life, BUT you can get through it well with people who care for you.

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Now It’s Your Turn:

What traditions do you have? Do you have any suggestions for how foster/adopted children can deal with missing their biological families? Be sure to share your thoughts below. Your answers will help other kids and parents too.

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Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17