As a Harry Potter fan who has spent an embarrassingly long time thinking about Hogwarts' four houses, I firmly believe that each has much to recommend it. Gryffindor is awesome. I mean, it's set up to be the obvious winner of the series, so you can't help but like Gryffindor, even begrudgingly. Hufflepuff is awesome, though often underestimated and looked down upon, its residents are kind-hearted, hard-working, and natural peace-makers. Slytherin is awesome, despite having a nasty reputation for being evil. (I'm not saying it's not, but I'm saying there's a lot more to it than that.) Truly, there are no bad houses. In her incredible ability to build richly detailed, nuanced worlds, J.K. Rowling has created a social ecosystem that reflects the wondrous shades of gray among individuals and groups that one finds in the real world. No, there are no bad houses... but there is a best house, and that, my friends, is Ravenclaw.
Yes, Ravenclaw. Though it is probably the least spoken-of house in the series, it is the home of many a witty witch and wizard and distinguishes itself as being the most intelligent and creative of all the houses. Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm totes a Ravenclaw, so I may be biased. (Did I mention Ravenclaws also tend to be a bit boastful?)
To my great dismay, neither of my two children show all the necessary signs that they will one day be sorted into Ravenclaw once they go to Hogwarts (which, I will say once again, is totally real and I'm absolutely and without a doubt going, even if I'm the oldest student in the history of the school). At least not yet. (There's time!) Don't get me wrong: They're brilliant little weirdos, but I just get the feeling that they're both destined for great things in other houses.
But what about your child? Will they sit at my lunch table in the great hall? (They'll know it's me because I'll be the only 33-year-old first form in the joint.) Let's find out.
Their Preschool Teacher Is Already Recommending Gifted And Talented Programs
Has this happened to you: You're chatting with your kid's teacher, and as they describe your little one, they get this serious look on their face and say "S/he's smart." If so, your child could well be a Ravenclaw. Not that the other houses can't have some bright bulbs lighting the halls and turrets, but Ravenclaws most assuredly lead the pack. In fact, the Sorting Hat was seriously considering putting Hermione into Ravenclaw, but Miss Granger had her heart set on Gryffindor... for some crazy reason.
They're Wonderfully Creative
Ravenclaws think outside of any box you attempt to put them in. They're inventors, artists, and innovators. When you give your child a Lego set, do they toss out the instructions and build something way better than the kit was designed for? Do they laugh in the face of anyone who would be foolish enough to give them a paint by numbers set? You might be raising a Ravenclaw.
They Crack You Up With Their Rapier Wit
Wit is one of the chief attributes Rowena Ravenclaw prized in her pupils. Is your 3-year-old snarking at a 5th-grade level? They're almost certainly a Ravenclaw. From wry japes to biting satire, from off-beat absurdism to puns, Ravenclaws are sharp enough not only to see through everyday life but to find the humor in it.
They Value Learning And Education
Ravenclaws are naturally bright, but they also love learning. Does your child beg you to take them to the library? Do they prefer PBS Kids to fluffier entertainment? Are they giddy with excitement the entire month of August because they know they get to go back to school in about a month? Congratulations! It's a Ravenclaw!
They Will Destroy You And Everything You Love To Remain The Smartest Person In The Room
First of all, know that a C for other students is a harsh, cold F to a Ravenclaw. Second of all, know that Ravenclaws not only take pride in being smart, they take pains in making sure you know they're smart. So Ravenclaw-on-Ravenclaw sparring, even backstabbing, is pretty common. Does your baby already have an intellectual nemesis? A Moriarty to their Sherlock Holmes? I hope they look good in blue and bronze, because they'll be wearing those colors at their first Quidditch match.
Every school has that group of art weirdos and theater geeks (said the former theater geek). They love thrift store clothes and Swedish bands most of the school has never heard of. They have vintage editions of Sylvia Plath that they carry around with them everywhere. They loathe conformity... or they're just the sort that see absolutely no reason to conform. Ravenclaws are offbeat, but they're comfortable with that. They know exactly who they are. If your kid wants to go to school in a button-down shirt paired with suspenders, a pink and purple pocket square and glittery turquoise loafers, chances are they're a Ravenclaw.
They Do Not Like To Admit When They're Wrong
Ravenclaws have a lot to be proud of, but sometimes that pride can get the better of them. For example, when Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter stole her diadem, a relic said to increase the intelligence of the wearer, Rowena refused to admit it had been taken. She held the secret so tightly that it made her ill and she died. To paraphrase: She would rather die than admit she was wrong. If you are parenting a wee Ravenclaw, be prepared for such haughty stubborn standoffs.
Unlike the common rooms of all the other Hogwarts houses, which rely on passwords, Ravenclaw's inner sanctum can only be entered if the entrant can solve a riddle. Rowena Ravenclaw (who designed the school's ever-changing floor plan) noted that many witches and wizards lacked logic, and so only a Ravenclaw would be up for the task of answering puzzles others would find difficult and tedious on a daily basis. Is your child a fan of puzzles, riddles, or other games that require critical thinking to succeed? Maybe they'll be able to get you into the common room themselves on parents' weekend...
Their Friends Are Eclectic In Every Sense
Ravenclaws celebrate people's unique and creative eccentricities. (Like I said, they're the art freaks of Hogwarts.) Your Ravenclaw babe can be expected to bring home many intelligent, colorful friends over for dinner in the years to come...
They're Wise Beyond Their Years
Your little Ravenclaw hatchling will often astound you with insights that don't come to most children, or even adults. They're able to see both the details and the big picture, which enables them to make connections and assessments that others may miss all together.
If your little one demonstrates these noble qualities, then I am pleased to tell you they are well on their way to becoming one of the most clever witch or wizard in their class.
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