Estimated read time : 6 minutes
I have woken up a few nights ago at 4 am by my daughter saying she had a nightmare. As I walked back with her to her room, I asked her what happened in the dream, and she said – “Mama, Voldemort had become king and was killing everyone”
Voldemort. King. I had to control my snigger as I told her that it’s just a dream and that am sure Harry would figure out how to defeat him. She agreed with me and smiled and fell asleep with a few minutes.
I read the Harry Potter series when it was published in 1997, and I was one of those who pre-ordered them so I could have them before anyone else. However, I was an adult when I read them. They were interesting, magical and made me wish I had been able to go to Hogwarts (The School of Wizardry and Witchcraft) as a child or had friends like Hagrid (the giant teacher who took the lesson on Care of Magical Creatures) or Ron Weasley (Harry Potter’s ‘best’ friend). It was also fun participating in the Harry Potter quizzes and led to a feeling of belonging in this universe created by JK Rowling.
My daughter is eight now and started reading the Harry Potter books in March just before the lockdown. She is currently on her last book and is as excited as she was when she started the first one. We have had a great time over the last 45 days discussing the plot, characters, guessing what will happen next, what we liked and what we didn’t like about the storyline besides grinning after revelations in the books. It has been a revisit to the books in the best possible way all the while discovering the point of view of a young child on issues like becoming an orphan, boarding school, friendship and loyalty.
Reading together with a parent also helps create the best kind of bonding between the child and the parents. When a young child hears the sound of your voice, they focus better and helps to increase their attention span. This also helps in building intimacy and feeling of togetherness. The idea is to make reading a fun activity, rather than a chore, so read to them when you are relaxed.
There are many lessons to be learnt from the Harry Potter series – I am going to list the ones most relevant to children and parents.
According to raisingchildren.net.au and many other sources, books help children as it stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world around them. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word besides helping with vocabulary and focus. Books help teach children about what is good and bad in the world s/he lives in.
Younger children will learn about colours, shapes, numbers, and letters, while the older ones discover interests and knowledge. When your child reaches a new stage in his life or experiences an unfamiliar situation, reading to your child about a story relevant to his new experience can relieve anxiety and help cope. For example, if your child is stressed about his first day in school, or about moving to a new location, you can read a book to him that shows that these should not be painful experiences.
From my own experience, here are some tips to encourage your child to read
Reading and reading with your child is a magical experience and help in bonding and making memories together. Keep reading – as Harry Potter makes us believe, magic is real.