Chapter 2 – House Elf Sabotage – Kids’ Discussion


“‘Dobby had to punish himself, sir,’ said the elf, who had gone slightly cross-eyed.”

An Unusual Friend

Harry has made an unusual friend. Actually, this friend appears to have been forced on him. However he is awkward all the same.

Why do you think we would say he is awkward? What makes Dobby so unusual?

Harry is very much looking forward to going back to Hogwarts for school. I’m sure after living the summer with the Dursleys, all he can think about is getting back to a life where he is considered special or at least worth something. Dobby even sees first hand how Harry is treated by the Dursleys and should be able to understand how much Harry would want to return to the wizarding community.

Dobby didn’t appear to want Harry to go back to school though. In fact he was taking something fun and very happy and turning it into something very stressful. Harry Potter had to worry about Dobby making too much noise and ruining Uncle Vernon’s dinner party. It just seems odd to us that Dobby says he wants Harry to be safe but is making him miserable at the same time.

When I Act Like An Elf…

This happens to foster and adoptive children too. I can think of one child in our home that likes to go on trips and have fun. If you gave them the choice of staying home or walking around the mall, they would choose to get out and have fun. However, the promise of an event would lead to some sort of created problem. What do I mean?

Our family recently went on a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando to have fun at in the Diagon Alley area. This child was above excited about leaving on this trip. With six people in our family though, we all have to work together to get the house ready to be left for a week. This includes cleaning rooms so that we don’t come back to some sort of stench. This particular child doesn’t like to clean their room – do you?

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All of a sudden this child didn’t know how to clean a room. They avoided the task all day long. They didn’t understand how to put away toys. Their room wasn’t large enough to fit all of their belongings that fit there fine before. The kiddo eventually began to cry and walk around the house declaring, “I’ll never get my room clean!”

After an hour of crying, the “sneaky” option was tried on mom and dad. I was requested to inspect the clean room only to find that dirty clothes and toys had been shoved under and behind furniture. This find resulted in a total meltdown of tears and screams of phrases such as:

  • “Just leave me here! I don’t want to go!”
  • “You should just take all my stuff away from me!”
  • “Take all my allowance! I don’t deserve it!”

Have you ever done anything like this? I know that this kid is not alone.

I asked all of my kids about this.

Why would you do something so that you can’t have fun?

Why would you sabotage an event?

  • “It’s not that you want the bad stuff. You might not feel like you should have good stuff.”
  • “Sometimes you just don’t understand the rules or how to act in a new home.”
  • “Sometimes it’s just habit. Like you’re so used to sabotaging stuff and not trusting adults that you just keep doing it.”


Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What would you do if an elf was suddenly on your bed?
  2. How do you know that your foster or adoptive parents want you to have fun? How do you know they want you to have good things?
  3. Why do you think your a special enough to have good things and have fun?
  4. How do you know that you’re getting upset? What does your face look like? How does your voice sound different?
  5. Jenny is getting ready to go to the zoo with her foster family. She is really excited about this and can’t wait to see the zebras. She was asked to do her normal daily chores before the family could leave for the zoo. Jenny really doesn’t want to take out the trash but she goes to the kitchen to get the trash anyways. She suddenly remembers that she will need a water bottle for the zoo so she fills her water bottle. She also will need her shorts and a hat because of the summer heat. Getting her clothes ready for the trip makes her really excited that she is actually going to see zebras. Jenny is ready for fun and DOES NOT want to do any work. However, she know that if she doesn’t do the work that she won’t be able to go. Jenny starts to get stressed that she now won’t have enough time to do her work. Because she is doing her job fast and not carefully, she rips the garbage bag. Trash is all over the floor. Her foster dad is disappointed and wants her to clean the mess. This will take longer. Jenny starts to scream and cry because other adults feel usually feel sorry for her and will do the work for her. After several minutes, she realizes this isn’t working so she starts throwing trash everywhere. When her foster dad comes in the trash covered kitchen, Jenny yells, “I never wanted to go to the zoo anyways!”
    • Should Jenny have done anything differently? What?
    • How do you know that Jenny is getting upset?
    • How could Jenny calm herself down?
    • Did crying or yelling help Jenny get what she wanted to do?
    • What should Jenny do to get what she wanted?


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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