Harry is finally going to Hogwarts and getting to eat as much candy as he wants. I have to admit that I want to try a pumpkin pasty. One thing that our whole family agrees on is that Bertie Bott’s Beans are dangerous. One of my kids got a grass flavored one and a pepper flavored bean. Yuck.
With the adventure on the Hogwarts Express, he is also meeting a bunch of new people and seeing some old faces. Let’s see. He has met the Weasley family, Neville, Hermione Granger, Crabbe, Goyle, and Draco Malfoy. Harry is quickly having to figure out who he will be friends with in this new place.
- Ron – seems nice and helpful. Harry can tell he is very embarrassed about not being wealthy.
- Neville – appears to be a very forgetful boy.
- Hermoine – so far she seems to be a bossy person.
- Draco – seems to think that he is better than certain people because his family is wealthy.
I asked all four of my adopted kids, “What do you think foster/adoptive kids need to think about after reading this chapter?” They were all quick to start talking about choosing friends. After all, if you’re in the foster system, some kids move from house to house quite a bit. At one point Harry had to choose sides with either Draco or Ron. He chose to befriend Ron. It seems easy, right? Draco is the villain in the book, so of course you shouldn’t be friends with him.
- “They look bad.”
- “They’re rich because Malfoy was rich.”
- “Malfoy’s parents were evil, so Malfoy is evil too.”
However, I asked if I was a bad person because sometimes my face looks angry.
“No, you’re not a bad person.”
A family friend has been quite successful so I asked if he were a bad person.
“No, he’s not a bad person.
I asked if Margie and I were “bad” people would the kids be bad.
“No, we would try to be good people.”
After a lot of talking, we came to the conclusion that all people are unique and special. A person might be doing something bad or something good. However, people do not need to receive the “good” or “bad” label.
How do you know if someone will make a good friend?
My middle son noticed that Harry had to watch everyone’s actions to learn more about them. Harry noticed that Draco was treating other people poorly and decided he didn’t want to be with someone that treated other people in that manner. My son said that foster/adoptive kids need to do the same thing – at school, in a neighborhood, at church, etc. How are other kids treating other people? Are they making fun of other kids a lot, or are they mostly kind? Do they hit other kids, or do they use their hands for playing and other appropriate actions?
Making a friend is a big decision. When you have friends, you usually spend so much time together that you begin to act alike. Thus, if you make friends with someone that likes to tease other kids, you might start doing it too just to fit in. But if you make a good choice, your friend will inspire you to make others feel better about themselves.
Now It’s Your Turn:
- What candies do you want to try on the train?
- Which people do you want to meet from the train? Why?
- What’s an example of someone making a good choice at home?
- What’s an example of someone making a bad choice at school?
- How do you know that something is a good choice or a bad choice?
- Are people “good” or “bad”?
- What is a good choice that you have made today?
There are other kids reading this blog with their foster/adoptive parent(s). What advice do you have for other kids about making friends? Also, we want to hear about any thoughts, ideas or questions you have about this chapter.