By Jason Miner
The ever popular book and movie series Harry Potter might not be on your top ten list of teachable films, but actually there are quite a few lessons that teens can draw from them. Teens always need a lot of guidance and they will not always accept it from their parents or guardians. If you can help relate those lessons to your teen through the lens of something the love they are often more open to your ideas. Here are some lessons that the Harry Potter movies can teach your teen:
- Friends come in all shapes and sizes – One of the things that are impressive about the Harry Potter story is the fact that three such unique individuals could become friends. Ron, Hermione and Harry all come from different walks of life and seem to have little in common and yet they form long lasting friendships that help them through many struggles. Teens are often exposed to the idea that people have to look or act a certain way to be accepted. By showing them how different people can be and still be friends the trio sets a good example.
- Your friends make a big difference – Still going on with this idea of friendship is how important who you chose to hang around with is on your life. No one character, besides Voldemort, is inherently evil. Instead they are affected by the people they choose to associate with. Would Draco have done the things he did wrong if he was not influenced by the Death Eaters? Would Harry have been as successful without the help of his friends like Neville and Luna? Teens need to be taught that who your chose as friends at a young age can affect the rest of your life.
- It is never too late to turn around – One of the aspects of Harry Potter that offers hope is the fact that no one is truly lost. Even the most evil of the bad guys are given a chance to turn around and do good. At the end of the story Draco and his mother decide to abandon their evil cohorts. Likewise Snape turns from his path for the love of Harry’s mother and decides to do good with his life, even with no reward. Teens often think that once they do something wrong they are marked for life and can never be redeemed. Thankfully this is not the case and it can help them to see that it is never too late to stop and do the right thing.
- Even ‘bad’ people can be loved – Speaking of Snape, his character was one that can inspire teens to see past the surface. Even bad people deserve to be loved and that love can change their lives. Harry’s mother saw who Snape really was and her love helped him to become a better man. Dumbledore also saw through Snape’s harsh demeanor and became good friends to the point that he trusted Snape with his life. Teen often rebel and put up a tough front but underneath they are in desperate need of love. Showing them that love can be found even when it is not easy is a great way to open their eyes.
- Empathy pays off – The thing that really separated the good guys from the bad guys in Harry Potter is empathy. The bad guys killed and tortured without feeling anything. It was only the characters that had empathy for others that ended up being redeemable. Draco’s squeamishness showed that underneath his dark robes he still had a heart and could be reached and turn his life around. Harry’s empathy for the house elves helped to turn the tide of battle at a crucial moment. Neville, though he was picked on constantly, still had room in his heart for others and he turned out to be the true hero in the story. By emphasizing to teens that feeling for others is not a weakness you can help them to become responsible and charitable adults with an attitude of helpfulness instead of self-centeredness. Like Voldemort, the more wrapped up in yourself that you are the more evil, hateful and untrustworthy you become.
- Even the smallest person is important – From Dobby to Neville and Luna it is the small people who count. The big trio gets a lot of the glory in the stories but the truth is that they could not do it without the help of others. Pointing out that even the weakest person at the beginning can be a hero at the end is a great way to show teens that they do not have to be the brightest and best to be successful. Sometimes it is better to be happy with who you are and change the world a little at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to be who you are – Throughout the stories the characters were trying to find out who they were. Harry was trying to be the hero because he thought that was his destiny. Hermione was the smart one, Ron the silly one, Luna the ditzy one, Draco the bad one and so on. Eventually as they grew up they found out that life does not work like that. We are all complex individuals with many facets to our personalities. It is important for teens to remember that they do not have to fit in a mold. They are an individual, whether a jock or a nerd or a Goth they can be who they are without a definition. Everyone has to become who they are eventually and the less time they spend trying to force themselves into a mold the better off they will be.
These are just a few of the things that teens can learn from the Harry Potter series. Although some of these ideas are difficult to bring up in casual conversation they are important to cover with your teen or pre-teen. Using Harry Potter to do so can mean an easier conversation where both of you listen and discuss rationally.
Author Bio: Jason Miner plays a vital role for www.blogcarnival.com. He is an expert in writing topics of different categories. He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers.