Rated #1 Dad

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Rated #1 Dad
on Harry Potter
Why I don't let my kids read Harry Potter. I get a lot of flak for being that "overprotective dad" who doesn't let his kids anywhere near fantasy stories like Harry Potter. But I'd like to take the opportunity to do something I rarely ever get to do: explain why...

Like any good parent, I always look into a story first before I share it with my kids. And in reading dozens of these fantasies and fairytales, I've found a common theme among them that, I believe, is harmful for children during their early development.

In Harry Potter, for example, Harry's parents are absent from his life after having been murdered by an evil wizard when he was just an infant. As a result, Harry is sent to live with Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, his aunt and uncle, for much of his early life.

The Dursleys, now Harry's only parental figures, are portrayed as dumb, spiteful and vain. So, when the magical owl finally arrives with Harry's acceptance into the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, it presents a much needed escape from the adults in his life.

This theme of removing parental figures from a child's life in order to open the door for great adventure is found in many different fantasies and fairytales. In almost all, adults are seen as less intelligent and less reliable figures than their child counterparts.

As these themes are embedded into the minds of young children, it's no wonder why we're increasingly seeing an overall lack of respect of adults and parents. These stories make children believe that they're smarter than those with decades more of experience and wisdom. And that's the gateway to making dangerous mistakes throughout their development.

For this reason, I'll keep my kids away from Harry Potter and other fantasies until they're old enough to think critically of what they read. I'm certain they'll appreciate it when they have their own kids. But in the meantime, I welcome any and all criticism over this choice.
6mo ago  •  12 comments

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