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Chapter 15 – Caring Despite the Consequences- Parent Discussion

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Chapter 15 is all about the consequences of disobedience for a group of students, and originally I thought I’d write about that. However, after looking at the chapter again, I decided we will tackle that subject in another book and hit a different issue: what I’m calling the consequences of caring.

The first consequences we see in this chapter are that of caring for peers. Neville is the ultimate picture of a friend caring for their peers and reaping the repercussions. The poor guy just wants to keep his classmates out of trouble and ends up right in it with them. This happens often in life, but I want to focus on a different type of caring for this parent discussion.

Emergency Care for a Child in Danger

While serving his punishment in the woods, Harry encounters very real danger and could have been facing imminent death, but Firenze swoops in to the rescue and takes Harry into his care. He takes him to safety and lets him know he’ll be safe now. This immediately made me think of what foster parents do, even more so when I read the reactions of Firenze’s peers. By caring for Harry, he pitted himself against the other centaurs. They were repulsed by his actions for they did not mingle in the affairs of humans. The words Bane spoke to Firenze angered Firenze, but I wonder if they also made him second guess himself later. Ronan says, “I’m sure Firenze thought he was acting for the best,” to which Bane replies,  “For the best! What is that to do with us?” His questions and attitude brought to mind so many questions foster and adoptive parents hear:

  • Don’t you want kids of your own?
  • Why don’t you try in vitro?

While in process of getting our foster parent license, we told a family friend about our endeavors. His reaction surprised us but you might be able to relate:

“But… You’re the ideal couple. Why would you do something like this?”

He went on to tell us about horror stories he had heard from other people adopting. Tales of biting, incarceration and physical brutality.

We have other stories that you might be able to relate to. Our family has experienced the beginning stages of forming a friendship with another family. However, when people discover that our kids have been through the foster system, we don’t get asked to go to BBQs anymore and our invites go unanswered.

Now, I do want to make it clear that we do have some great and supportive people in our lives. We have also joined a fantastic support group for foster and adoptive families through Harmony. However, there is still the feeling of having the public verbally praising you for your “heroic” efforts but keeping their distance like you have the plague.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. Why do you think Firenze chose to help Harry?
  2. Why do you continue to foster?
    (We’ve asked this before but it helps to revisit this question multiple times and solidify your thoughts and motivations.)
  3. Do you feel like an outsider since you have begun your adoptive/foster journey? When? How?

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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

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

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Chapter 15 – Punishment Keeps Me Safe?! – Kids’ Discussion

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Have you ever been in so much trouble that it embarrassed you? Have ever been in so much that you just wanted to stay in your bedroom and you didn’t want to see anyone? Have you ever been in so much trouble that you didn’t want to see your friends because you knew they would laugh at you?

Harry and Hermione had that kind of shame in Chapter 15. They didn’t just have a few people that they disappointed, but they had almost the WHOLE school looking down on them. How do you think they felt? I bet they felt sick to their stomachs. My kids can relate to this level of trouble. It’s those times when you don’t think you’ll ever enjoy your most favorite thing again. Hermione didn’t want to show off her answers in class anymore and Harry wasn’t really having fun at Quidditch. I can tell when my kids are in this same place because they yell, “I’ll never… again.”

  • “I’ll never play the Wii again!”
  • “I’ll never play outside with my friends again!”
  • “I’ll never do crafts again!”

I really don’t like it when people feel this way. It makes me feel sad and depressed for them. However, all four of the Transfiguring Adoption kids pointed out that Harry and Hermione shouldn’t have been out of bed at night in the first place. They broke a rule. I mean they were trying to help Hagrid so that he wouldn’t get in trouble. My son quickly interjected that the kids could have gone to Dumbledore for help instead of breaking the rules. My son reckoned that Dumbledore would have worked something out so that Hagrid didn’t get in trouble too. After all, Dumbledore seems to be very good friends with Hagrid throughout the books.

There are reasons for the rules.

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Reasons the Fink kids came up for common rules:

  • Eating your dinner before you get dessert keeps you healthy and helps your body grow
  • Cleaning your room keeps bugs and dirt away; both could make you sick and not make for a comfortable place to live
  • Washing your hands after you use the toilet gets harmful germs off your body
  • Doing your homework helps you get smarter so that you can get a job that you are passionate about one day
  • Limiting electronics helps you to use your mind for other activities or forces you to do something active so that you get good exercise

Well, I wanted to know from my children how they thought sending the students into the Forbidden Forest at night was supposed to teach them not to wander the halls at night. My daughter informs me that the task is so scary that the kids will remember they shouldn’t wander the halls at night. Moreover my kids all tell me that the rule was in place for Harry’s own good. The halls weren’t safe at night, and the students needed to get sleep so they were ready for lessons in the morning.

I also suggested that Draco Malfoy might have had the right idea. He was trying to get out of the punishment. I mean who would have noticed if they didn’t go to meet Mr. Filch for their punishment task. One of our adopted kiddos stopped me quick from that thinking. They explained that Malfoy would have gotten expelled from school and that punishment is WAY worse. My child explained that they know that when they get in trouble they want to escape but they know that a person will get into worse trouble by trying to escape the consequence of their action.

Important Things I Heard:

  • There is always a REASON for a RULE
  • OBEYING a RULE almost always keeps us SAFE and HEALTHY
  • Adults punish you to HELP you LEARN to be a safe and healthy adult
  • ESCAPING the consequence of your action will make things WORSE

As a father, I want kids to know that we don’t look at punishment like Mr. Filch. I don’t get excited about getting to put someone in time-out or grounding someone. Like I said earlier, I actually get sad when I see one of my kids upset. However, as my kids pointed out to me, I want them to grow up to be the best adults they can be in life. I love them and want them to learn to do things that will make them the best. You know what’s funny? They want me to teach them also AND they know that I love them.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. Do you think Neville or Malfoy were more scared in the forest? Why?
  2. Would you be scared to meet a centaur?
  3. Are you embarrassed when you break a rule?
  4. Are you scared to get in trouble? Why?
  5. Why is lying about breaking the rule a bad idea?
  6. What happens after you finish your punishment?
  7. Students aren’t allowed in the Forbidden Forest. You see a badly hurt unicorn hobble from the school grounds into the forest. It will die if someone doesn’t help it. How do you save the unicorn?

Help Others:

Please take some time and tell us what your thoughts were about this chapter and discussion. The advice, questions and thoughts you have will help other kids and families.

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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