If there's one thing I can be sure of, it's that the Harry Potter series will be required reading for my future children. As a fan of the series myself, I've learned countless lessons from Harry and his friends, and I can only hope that one day I'll be able to pass down the beloved books and it's lessons to my own children. And if you're a Potter fan, chances are you feel the same way. But, like any wildly adventurous and imaginative series, there are things to tell your child about Harry Potter before they start reading it.
There's some controversy over when the best age to start your children reading Harry Potter is, but like all things, it all depends on you, your child, and how comfortable you feel while reading it together. Because in my opinion, the best way to start your children on Harry Potter is by making it a family affair. This way, you'll remember exactly what the content of the books is, and be able to guide your child through the series. Although the books do cover dark content, if you give your child a primer for the books and tell them these things beforehand, they'll be ready to devour them, one book at a time.
1. Your Imagination Is Key
In order to truly appreciate the world J.K. Rowling has created, you have to use your imagination. Of course, the books have all been made into films, but a good practice in imagination is reading the books before you see the films, so you can envision the characters exactly how you want to, without any help from Hollywood. As Rowling shows, book after book, imagination can take you just about anywhere.
2. Everything Will Be OK In The End
Although there are a few points in the series where it's not clear who's going to come out on top, reassure your children that yes, even through loss and tough times, everything will be okay in the end.
3. The Power Of Friendship Will Amaze You
The power of friendship takes center stage during most of the series, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione taking to battles, navigating schoolwork, and finding their way through ups and downs together. Surrounding yourself with a good circle of friends is key to growing up. Your friends will see you through just about anything that comes your way, including an evil wizard trying to take over the world.
4. Sometimes We Create Our Own Families
As we see with Harry throughout the books, sometimes you create your own family. Not every family is a typical family, not every family has a mother, father, brother, and sister. Harry creates his own family throughout the books, turning to Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore, the Weasleys, and more when he needs family most.
5. Gryffindor Isn't The Only Good House
During the first read, it's easy to be attracted to the house of Gryffindor. After all, the protagonist and all of his friends are Gryffindors. But as the novels progress, you and your kids will find that obviously, not everyone is a Gryffindor, and that all of the houses (yes, even Slytherin) have their merits.
6. Good Vs. Evil Isn't Always Cut And Dry
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons in the series, is that good and evil aren't always so easy to distinguish. Things are not always as they appear. From the unexpected antagonist of Professor Quirrell in the first book to the evolution of Professor Snape, the books are a lesson in learning about people, and learning to look past the labels we so often give to people in order to help us understand them.
7. Prepare Yourself For A Lifelong Obsession
Above all, prepare yourself for a long lifetime of love and obsession of Harry Potter. Once you pop, you just won't be able to stop. From scarves, to movies, to Pottermore, to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the list of obsession will only grow as your child grows into the series. Prepare for your obsession to be reignited as your child lives and reads the series for the first time.