There's been a lot of criticism, both good and bad, about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, but there's one major thing they got right — the relationship between parents and children. In fact, Harry's relationship with his middle child, Albus Severus Potter, is basically the heart of the story and keeps everything pumping. If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance so you can find all of the times Harry and Albus were you and your kid.
OK, so maybe there are a few differences. Maybe you aren't The Chosen One that defeated the most evil wizard of all time and maybe your kid isn't totally burdened by the hero status of their last name. But the root of the Potter problems is very real. A young kid who just wants to be the kind of kid that makes his parent proud. A parent that worries, constantly, and has no idea where to connect with a child so very different from them. Sound familiar? Whether your kid is older and you've already had your share of fights or your little one is just a baby that you can't make any sense of, these nine times will remind you that you and your kid are basically Harry & Albus. Remember, no matter how hard parenting gets, "happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."
1When Harry Has To Reassure Albus, Despite Having No Idea If He's Right Or Not
How many times do you, as a parent, have to reassure your child that everything is going to be OK, even if you aren't completely sure? At the beginning of the play, Albus is very worried about being sorted into Slytherin. He's nervous about Hogwarts in general, and all Harry can do is reassure him that he's going to be fine over and over. It's the ultimate parenting moment — hiding your own nerves and worries so that you can make your little one feel confident, no matter what.
2When Harry Wants Albus To Get More Involved In Fun Things
Every parent worries when their child seems to hate all of the things you thought they'd love, especially if they don't show much interest in anything else. Harry is no different in the scene where he tries to get Albus excited about his chance to visit Hogsmeade and Albus refuses to go. It's frustrating, because you feel like they would love it, and it's upsetting and nerve-wracking to see your child dislike something simply because it's mainstream.
3When Harry Can't Seem To Connect With Albus On Anything
Have you ever tried to talk to your kid and realized you have no idea what they're thinking and can't connect with them on any level? This happens a lot when my toddler is sleepy, so you know, I get Harry's frustration with Albus and his inability to connect.
4When Albus Is Totally Ungrateful To Harry's Gift
Harry may not be the perfect father, but when he gifted Albus the blanket Harry was found in the night his parents were killed and Albus can't even accept that gesture, it's incredibly heartbreaking. It will happen over and over. You will give your child something, make a sacrifice for them, or reach out to them only to be told it's not enough or they don't want it. And you just have to keep going and hope they realize it one day. (Or you give them exactly what they ask for and they're still pissed off. That happens a lot with toddlers.)
5When Harry Refuses To Fight With Albus
Harry's exact words are, "I'm not going to rise to your bait, Albus Potter." Do you know how often I have to think those same things to my toddler? All the time. Choose your battles, right?
6When Harry Hurts Albus' Feelings
Maybe you've never told your child that you wished you weren't their parent, but I think every parent has said something they didn't mean to their kid or unintentionally hurt their feelings during a fight. The guilt I feel when my kid wants me to hold her and I act like that's a huge burden? Ugh, it's enough to make me cry. But parents are human, too, and it's important for everyone to remember that.
7When Harry Constantly Worries Over Albus
I mean, that's a given, right? No matter how much you trust your child and no matter how hard you try to steer them in the right direction, you are constantly worried. Are they happy? Are they being bullied? Are they lonely? Do they know how much you love them? Harry is so worried about his son that he even makes decisions that push his father away from him, hoping to keep him safe and happy.
8When Harry Stops Trying To Make Albus Like Him
There is one scene that includes Harry making some rash decisions about Albus' life, like that he is no longer allowed to see Scorpius or leave the Gryffindor common room during his time at Hogwarts. When Albus fights back, Harry says, "I thought for a long time I wasn't a good enough dad for you because you didn't like me. It's only now I realize that I don't need you to like me, I need you to obey me because I'm your dad and I do know better." Making the best decision for your kid? Hard. Making the decision you think is best and breaking your child's heart at the same time? Even worse.
9When Harry Finally Got Honest With Albus
You want to be a pillar of strength for your kid. You want them to look up to you, you want to be the best role model possible for them, and you want them to trust in you. But sometimes, getting honest is the best thing you can do for your child. When Harry told Albus how often he was scared and reminded him that, as a father, he had no idea what he was doing, he became more human to Albus. How often have your kids felt like you were nothing like them because you never told them how alike you two were? You don't have to be the best version of yourself all the time. You just have to be a parent to your kid and be truthful with them. When they know who you are, you're less scary, intimidating, and they can become more open with you.