July 25, 2007 —

With both a movie and the final book coming out within two weeks of each other, the Harry Potter craze seems to have taken over my town. The great thing about the movies and the books are that they bring parents and kids of all ages together. According to an article in The Washington Post, this final volume of the series may be read by more adults than kids! Could this be an opportunity for a teachable moment with your kids? Of course it is! It is never to early, or late, to talk. This time when you sit down to read Harry Potter with your kids, or come out of the movie theater, take a moment to talk about how important strength of character is and how, like Harry Potter, your child should make his or her own decisions and not give in to peer pressure from classmates like Draco Malfoy. If Professor Dumbledore's influence on Harry is any evidence, communicating with your kids may save their lives. Without Dumbledore, Harry might have spent his life looking in the Mirror of Eriset in the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Any moment we can take to teach our kids that they can choose to make a good decision is a worthwhile one.