Has your child been telling you about dreams of becoming a superhero? Which superhero did you look up to the most when you were a kid?
It is no surprise that a lot of kids are drawn to superhero characters from comics, movies, and TV shows. Kids are said to have a greater sense of control and power when they are pretending to be superheroes and this could help them explore, hone, and challenge their courage in different situations they face every day.
What do you say to your child when they tell you that their dream is to become a superhero someday? You don’t crush their dreams by telling them it is impossible. Don’t tell them that superheroes do not exist. Instead, you tell them that, yes, they can achieve that dream. Superheroes exist not just in fiction but also in real life.
Real-life superheroes sometimes lurk in the shadows unnoticed. You don’t notice them until you pay attention, and until you detach from your everyday bubble. Real-life superheroes sometimes do not get the recognition they deserve. They simply go about their daily lives, helping out whenever they can.
Who are these real-life superheroes? Where can we find them?
The lady across the street who offered to carry your groceries, the teenager who tapped on your shoulder when you dropped a dollar bill, those who rescue trapped and helpless animals — these are just a few examples of real-life superheroes. No, being a real-life superhero does not require the wearing of capes (or visible underpants). It does not require having super speed or telekinesis. Superheroes may not even need the latest modern gadget.
Without all of those, how can these people be considered superheroes?
When we talk about similar superpowers, we are not talking about super speed and all those fantastic ideas. We are talking about real-life grit, ability, and heart.
Real-life superheroes go beyond fictional ones because they do not have the advantage of fantastic abilities and fancy technology. “Human” superheroes rely on their character. What are these characteristics? How can your kid become a real-life superhero?
How to Be Super
A superhero needs courage. This does not mean that one is fearless. Courage means one is brave enough to face any challenge despite the presence of fear. This characteristic not only applies to fighting crime and bad guys. Courage may also mean owning up to one’s mistakes despite feeling ashamed because apologizing is the right thing to do. Practice courage by standing up for what is right (even merely in the household setting).
Related to courage is responsibility. A superhero should be responsible enough for their actions. One can make all the promises in the world but promises without action have no value. One cannot simply promise to change the world and do nothing. Teach your child how to be responsible for turning their words into actions. Doing basic house chores may help in teaching them responsibility.
A superhero is aware that knowledge is power. They learn about the world and everything that is happening around them to find out what they could do as responsible citizens. Superheroes are eager to find out how to make a better world for everyone around them. Gaining knowledge does not mean you have to be arrogant about what you know. One can simply start by attending middle school diligently and participating in class to be aware of context and possibilities.
Most importantly, a superhero has a heart of gold. One cannot be a superhero without knowing how to empathize with others. This is what motivates superheroes to help out in their community. Lead your child into having a warm heart towards all people by teaching them how to be kind and gentle even in situations of negative emotions. Instill in them the importance of love and care in creating a positive community that is healthy and safe for everyone.
Fictional superheroes are merely reflections of underappreciated superheroes in our everyday communities. Becoming a superhero is an attainable dream. Don’t discourage your child from trying to reach this dream of helping out their community. Instead, teach your child how to be good citizens of the country. Let them learn the value of kindness and love in maintaining peace and order.
Being a superhero does not require fancy clothes and the latest technology. Becoming a superhero simply requires love — nothing more, nothing less. Although, if your child asks for a superhero cape as a birthday gift, it wouldn’t hurt to provide.