Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simply Being Radical in Parenting - Harry Potter, good or evil?


Now that our kids are 25, 23 and 20, I have a lot of time to think about their years of growing up and the way we dealt with certain issues.  When the Harry Potter books first came out we pre-ordered them and the kids were just so excited to read them as soon as they came.  Well, at least the first two books, because after they read the books and I began to hear some of the backlash about the books I decided that we should get rid of them and I apologized to my kids for not having given it more thought and research before buying them.  I actually asked them to get rid of them, I did not tell them to, I gave them all of my thoughts and asked if they would get rid of them which they did.
This was probably 10 years ago so the boys were teens, Katie had not read any of them.  We got rid of the books and left it at that, when the rest came out we simply ignored them.  Although, I'm sure the boys were curious about what happened in the next books but they didn't say much.
Well, I've learned a lot in these past ten years about faith and how we deal with certain issues and I know that the way I handled the Harry Potter books was simply the only way I knew how at the time, I'm not certain if I would have done it differently but I would have had more discussions with the kids about it.  I think that not talking to them about probably raised more questions than talking to them would have, I thought if we didn't talk about it then they wouldn't really think about it, I know that was wrong.
My hubby does not feel strongly about these things like I do, I've always been the one to lock all the cable channels that we do not view, etc.  He basically says that whatever I do is fine but he really doesn't give an opinion.  I guess I could say that he's of the mindset of 'if the other kids are reading it, is must be okay'.  Now, mind you he wouldn't agree to them doing anything illegal, etc., he just doesn't really give these things much thought.  I, on the other hand put a roadblock up to anything until we've researched as much as we can.  I'm very determined where my kids are concerned that they never do anything 'just because the other kids are doing it', we should always go down the road we clear ourselves, never follow just to be like others. 
This actually caused a lot of friction early on in our parenting years, he didn't see problems where I did but eventually we did work things out so we both had a say and then decided from there.  Most of the time he would say that it was up to me, I would search the scriptures, get opinions from church friends, pray about it and then talk to the kids about why we made the decision.
Then a couple of years ago the Harry Potter movies were coming on TV and the kids wanted to watch them but were concerned that I would be upset about it.  This is where the important part comes in....you see I've done the best I could to instill values in them that they will need in life to make the decisions that they will have to make.  Now is the time that I sit back and let them make their own choices and see how they deal with them.  They all like the Harry Potter movies and all the characters in it and still enjoy watching the movies, I do not watch them simply because I'm not a movie person and they don't interest me.
What I've come to understand is that my kids like the 'fantasy' aspect of the movies just like the other movies we've loved through the years.....The Neverending Story, the Narnia movies and the Hobbit movies, it is that aspect that they love.  I know there are good and evil in all of these stories but we know that good always wins over evil.  My decision to get rid of the books didn't influence whether they would later like them or not and I know that my decision was based on what I knew at the time.
If we raise our kids to love the Lord with all their heart and give them a good start in the knowledge of the scriptures they will take that and blend it in to their own decisions in their lives, they will not do things exactly the way we do but that's wonderful!!!  I don't want my kids to be clones of us, in homeschooling it was very important to me that they have their own minds and thoughts, otherwise I wouldn't have homeschooled them at all but let them be taught by the teachers in the public schools.  When subjects like young earth vs. old or creationism vs evolution  came up we were able to go the scriptures and then discuss it to find the answers, not some textbook that was written by some person with no real proof.  In our faith we do not have to see it, we simply believe because the scriptures say so.

So is Harry Potter good or evil, I think both...but there's good and evil in our world, always has been and always will be.  Our job is to make sure our children understand the difference and give them the tools early in life that they will need to make the right decisions.

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