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Tips on how to be a terrible father with Lucius Malfoy

Snide comments, dodgy mates, and bullying your child’s fellow classmates. That’s the fatherly way of Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius smiles at Draco and presses his nape affectionately in order to persuade Draco to identify Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Lucius Malfoy’s parenting methods were… a choice. When he wasn’t trying to bestow Horcruxes on young children, or feed his son Draco with anti-Muggle sentiment, he was probably doing something else terrible. No wonder Draco was so, well, Draco.

Anyway, here are the top paternal tips from Lucius Malfoy, that you should never, ever follow.

Encourage your child to socialise

Ensuring that your child is able to make friends is an absolute must. For instance, when being fitted for their school uniform, a great technique is to make sure they know where you stand when it comes to blood supremacy, so they make the right choices later. And on their first day at their new school, making snide remarks about palling around with ‘the wrong sort’ of person is a really great way to go about making firm friends for life.

Illustration by Jim Kay © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2015, taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Illustrated Edition

Introduce yourself to their friends

As Lucius does in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, introducing yourself to your child’s classmates is a great way to integrate yourself into their lives. In fact, flinging your social standing and your wealth in their faces will ensure they don’t forget you in a hurry. Likewise, goading 12-year-olds in front of their parents – whom you have also just insulted – is a brilliant example to set your son. Of course, planting a possessed diary into the belongings of a pre-teen – and nearly causing her death – will commit you to their memories forever.

(Seriously, what is wrong with Lucius?!)

The Weasleys and the Malfoys square up to each other in a crowded bookshop.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Perform acts of charity

Give to those who have less than you. For instance, buying your son’s way onto the Quidditch team by purchasing the whole squad the latest brooms will make you exceedingly popular with those receiving them. Nothing like aimlessly throwing money at a situation to improve your child’s self-esteem.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Be involved with their school

Often parents get involved with their child’s school – Lucius was on the board of governors (akin to the Muggle Parent-Teacher Association) and was actively involved in the goings-on at Hogwarts. One of the best ways to make an impact in this position is to instil your fear and hatred into the other governors, forcing them to sign on the dotted line to pass any motions you may suggest. This might include trying to get the headmaster of your child’s school deposed and one of the teachers sent to Azkaban. And supporting the children being taught how to commitDark Arts, rather than defend themselves from them, is also a top-notch parenting tip.

Lucius looks intimidating holding his cane from the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Take them to see their favourite sport live

Bonding with your child is one of the most important things you will ever do, and taking them to see their favourite sport live is possibly one of the greatest ways to do this. So bringing Draco to the Quidditch World Cup final in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was a stroke of parenting genius from Lucius. And don't forget to gloat at those less fortunate than yourselves when heading for your luxury seats.

Ireland Vs Bulgaria World Cup match
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Make sure they always feel included

Not only is including yourself in their favourite pastimes a great parenting tip, but including your child in your own hobbies is fun, too. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince we saw that Draco had been fully accepted into the Death Eater fold, what with his involvement in bringing them into the school in an attempted take-over. And, of course, he played his part in the death of Dumbledore – the one person that Voldemort was always scared of. Making sure your child feels like they have to prove themselves – not only to you, but to the darkest power known to wizardkind – is a fantastic bonding exercise, and comes highly recommended.

Lucius, Narcissa and Draco look scared at Voldemort's table in Malfoy Manor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

So, er, thanks for all of this, Lucius. Really inspiring stuff.