Chapter 12 – 3 Ways To Tell You Aren’t Acting Like Yourself – Kid Discussion


Polyjuice Potion and Halloween

Harry, Ron and Hermione finally are able to use the Polyjuice potion they have been creating. The potion makes their body look like some else for an hour. Have you ever thought about this before? Becoming someone else?

Many people try to do this around Halloween. So many kids dress up like cartoon characters or superheroes or other imaginary characters. It’s fun to pretend, right?


In the book we see Harry and Ron pretending to be Crabbe and Goyle. They are trying to walk like them, talk like them and have the same facial expressions. They are doing this temporarily though. Harry and Ron had no intentions of staying in that condition forever.

At Halloween you see the same thing. You might dress up like Sponge Bob Square Pants for one night for fun but you more than likely have no intention of running around in square pants for the rest of your life.

What is Pretending then?

  • Something we do for FUN
  • Something that is a temporary escape from reality

Being Fake

Sometimes when someone has been hurt really bad or was scared horribly bad they might act oddly to escape getting hurt or scared.

I know a fifth grade boy that most people believe is a 2nd or 1st grade boy. Why?! He talks with a little and squeaky 7 year old voice. This boy also slouches when he stands up so that he looks smaller. This boy tries to give a cute smile to all adults and tries to sit in their laps like a kindergartener.

Does this sound weird to you? This boy learned in foster care that the little and cute kids never get in trouble. The little kids always get taken care of first. This fifth grader is acting like a little kid so that he feels safe and protected. He’s not pretending. His polyjuice potion doesn’t ever wear off.

What is Being Fake?

  • A way we act to protect ourselves
  • A way we act that makes pretending reality instead of dealing with a problem

Other Ways We Might Be Fake

I know a girl that was in foster care that made up a story about why she didn’t live with her biological mom anymore. According to her, her mother was a diplomat to Africa and traveled quite a bit. Thus, she needed to stay with another family. She was scared about being different. She didn’t want to answer the other kids’ questions.


3 Ways You Can Tell Someone is Being Fake?

  1. Can’t Keep Their Story Straight
    The big and overall story might be the same. However, there will be little things in the story that change all the time. As in the story above about the mother living in Africa. The overall story was the same. However, sometimes mom stayed at a hotel and sometimes a house; sometimes mom showed people around the city and sometimes she only welcomed people when they landed in the airport.
  2. Weird Emotions
    When you are truly happy, you have one kind of smile that cannot be replicated exactly. When you are asked to smile for a photo, it’s a different kind of smile. Once you get to know someone you can tell the difference between their real emotions and fake emotions. Also, you might notice that someone is upset but are forcing themselves to be happy.
  3. Looking Uncomfortable
    Usually when someone is being fake their own body gives them away. They just don’t look comfortable. They start to fidget more than normal or they might start to get sweaty. They might even want to change the subject quickly.

What should we do?

What’s wrong with someone not acting like themself? They will never reach their full potential – everything that they were meant to be if they’re pretending to be someone else.

  • Kindly point out that you think something is odd
  • Tell the person how great they are
  • Assure the person that they are safe; you won’t make fun of them or hurt them
  • Be patient. If someone is being fake to protect themselves, it is hard to overcome that sense of fear. A person will know you love them when they see that you stick by their side even though they are acting oddly.

Now it’s your turn:

  1. Who would you turn into with Polyjuice Potion? Why?
  2. What was your favorite Halloween costume ever? Why?
  3. Do you ever wish you were someone else?
  4. When are times that you pretend?
  5. When are times that you act fake? What do your parents think?
  6. Do you think that your parents like the real you? Why or why not?


Kids’ 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

Parent Discussions: 

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04

Written by
Co-founder and President of Transfiguring Adoption. Darren is a graduate of Illinois State University where he studied fine art. He offers foster and adoptive parents over a decade of experience in parenting foster and adoptive children, as well as his introductory to counseling training. Darren is the author of the "A Guide to Magical Creatures Around Your Home," book series. [email protected] LinkedIn: Book series:

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