Do we expose children to Superhero's or not? There are conflicting views on this. Superhero-play, especially with little boys is inevitable. Totally banning them could lead to aggression in the long haul. In our household we have decided to introduce positive values as we guide and cheer on our adventurous little souls while they save the world from destruction and fight evil. I live with three superhero's, seven years and younger who go by distinguished names AB, Nicky and Merav. My youngest struts around creating webs at home in his blue and red Spidy costume (His latest birthday gift). He has hardly watched a spider man movie, but feels the part of a superhero. My oldest and middle child absolutely love their light saber battles. They have fostered deep friendship engaging in action-hero play and testing their physical limit. While my kids categorically love imitating larger than life characters, I do not take it lightly that I am responsible to guide and advise them against trying out dangerous feats like jumping off buildings and walking into raging fire.
As my children enjoy this wave, I harness this passion through teachable moments and intentional discussions to introduce them to some real life superhero's like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Abraham Lincoln . Surprisingly the lil munchkins are curious to learn and all ears. I also prepare them to understand that a real life superhero can be some one ordinary with no special powers like their parents, teachers or next door neighbors.
Tips to foster healthy superhero play:
1. Explain to kids the difference between fantasy superhero's and real life heros
2. Help kids understand where to draw the lines when it comes to action play. Never to cross over to aggression and hostile language.
3. Allow them to enjoy an age appropriate superhero cartoon, but train them to stay grounded and not get lost in an imaginary world forever.
4. Show them the ropes to pick the good traits like generosity, compassion, community help and chivalry from superhero's.
5. Enlighten them on life-skills: how to use power wisely while they learn to negotiate and cooperate, Identify right from wrong and fair from unfair.
As parents let's be a guiding force as kids' imagination soar up up and away!