‘Why on earth would we want to take parenting advice from a Malfoy?’ you might ask… And you would be right to be sceptical. Narcissa Malfoy was in league with Death Eaters (even marrying one), appeared to support Voldemort’s insidious views and had her snootiness down to a fine art. Taking tips from someone so morally dubious seems a ridiculous thing to do but bear with us – we do think there is one bit of wisdom Narcissa would impart.
That piece of wisdom is… your child comes before anything and everyone else. Your son is recruited to be a Death Eater? Make an Unbreakable Vow with his Head of House to ensure his protection. You don’t know where your son is as a battle rages? Risk your life by lying to one of the most powerful wizards of all time – just so you can go and find him. The battle isn’t over and your son is still in danger? Abandon everyone and everything else and protect him at all costs by leaving. Narcissa may have been flawed, but being a mother meant everything to her.
Growing up in a family where you don’t fit in must be tough – especially if that family is a Dark-magic loving, Muggle-hating clan of pure-blood fanatics. Yet, that was Andromeda Tonks’ reality. However, instead of caving in and pretending to support their worldview for an easy life, Andromeda stood up to them. She stuck by her beliefs, married Muggle-born Ted Tonks and was cast out as a result. Would she do it again? We think she would.
In fact, we think this would be her piece of parenting advice. Stay true to what you believe in – even if it’s not always easy. You will regret giving in to keep the peace and will only find true happiness (like Andromeda did with her husband Ted and daughter Nymphadora) once you ignore what others expect of you and embrace who you truly are.
We think Lily Potter’s advice would be short and sweet… Love is what matters most.
Lily may not have been able to be there for Harry as he grew up, but he never had any reason to doubt that she loved him. In fact, she loved him so much she sacrificed herself to save him from Voldemort. And the power of that sacrifice granted Harry a protection that lasted until he came of age.
So even when your child is acting up – whether that’s by crashing a flying car into a very important (and very violent) tree… or something less dramatic – take a deep breath. You’re not making a mess of this whole parenting thing. Your love will give them that strong foundation they need, and everything will work out in the end… as long as they avoid flying cars.
If there’s one wizarding world mum that we think would be full of excellent advice, it’s Molly Weasley. Not only did she raise seven wonderful (even Percy) children, she also was willing to open her heart to those who needed a mother figure in their life. Case in point? Harry Potter.
Here was one child neglected, abandoned and with no solid, adult presence in his life. And that was something that Molly wouldn’t stand for. As soon as she met him, she accepted him into her family – no questions asked. The watch she gave him for his seventeenth birthday and the way she openly claimed him as one of her own only solidified this.
So, we think Molly would say that in this world there is enough love for everyone. And as a mother, it doesn’t hurt to reach your hand out to someone who needs one – that’s what being a mum means.
Now, we know that Petunia Dursley was about as pleasant as a kiss from a Dementor, but if we were to take parenting tips from her (huge emphasis on the if), then we think it would look a little something like this…
If you bought your child 37 presents for their birthday last year, then make sure you don’t make the mistake of only getting them 36 this year. Not only will you completely ruin your darling Diddykins’ birthday, but you will have to buy them at least two more presents to make up for your terrible – and we mean truly heinous – lack of judgement.
Well… we didn’t say it was good advice.
One final piece of advice that we think one of the greatest mothers in the wizarding world would like to impart is this… Never leave home on an empty stomach.
Ron may have rejected Molly’s homemade corned beef sandwiches, but this witch was a whiz in the kitchen and ensured that every person at The Burrow was always well-fed. With half-a-dozen bacon sandwiches as a standard breakfast… this is one bit of advice we will happily gobble up.