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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- What would be the scariest thing about owning a dragon for you?
- Is there a chore that you don’t like to do? Why do you have to do it?
- If you’re an adopted/foster child, why were you put into foster care?
- 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.