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Why is it important that we introduce superheroes to our kids?
I asked my six-year-old what superheroes do. Her response was “they save people.” That simple. In the heart and mind of a child, that is incredibly powerful. Kids, generally, don’t have much control over their lives. That can be pretty scary at times, that feeling of being powerless. So the visual of ordinary looking people transforming into strong, intelligent, and compassionate heroes can be comforting and empowering. It’s also incredibly influential. Our kids see these people, oftentimes imperfect and flawed, reject fear to do what is right.
I love watching her dress up as The Wasp, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, or even better, her own creation. Rescuing her little sister when she falls down or defeating the evil Pillowman and saving us all from certain disaster. What better role models for a child than those whose entire lives revolve around helping others?
It also changes as they grow. The influence becomes more personal, more relevant. At least it did for me. They discover that the world isn’t fair, and that’s hard. They also discover that these hero’s imperfections often run deep. That some have difficult or dark pasts; some have serious fears and weaknesses; that sometimes figuring out the right thing to do isn’t always easy. Most of the time the right decision is not the easy one. These things are important. These are the necessary discussions to have! That no one is perfect, even our superheroes. That you can have fears and flaws and still accomplish incredible feats and do mass amounts of good. That you can make a difference.
They will realize at some point that they won’t grow up to be superheroes. But if we’ve done our jobs as parents, they’ll always know they can be real life heroes. And they’ll understand what that means because we have had those discussions and set the example. So, is it important we introduce our kids to superheroes?
It is absolutely necessary.
Check out my post Dreaming of Fictional Worlds for more about fun subjects to introduce to your kids!
Here are some reading recommendations for your little ones. We love all of these in our home! Also, check out Things From Another World for an awesome selection of comics!
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