I am excited to share Tracey’s post today! The Clay household enjoys Batman. So much so that I made Rebekah a Batman outfit. 🙂
By Tracey Clayton
Superheroes track the bad guys relentlessly through the sky and defend the innocent against injustice, all without ever revealing their true face. Whether they are called Superman, Batman or Spider-Man, our kids love them. But why are superheroes so fascinating to the youngsters? How do they help them grow?
Why Do Children Need Superheroes?
The superhero is an ideal, an aspiration, a goal, and that is an excellent moving force for children as well as for adults. The highlight of superheroes is that they represent both reality and fantasy. In most cases, these are very normal men and women in real life. They have a job, friends, and a rather ordinary life. But thanks to their great power, they can be stronger than reality and overcome any obstacle. For them, everything is possible. So, inevitably, this kind of premise represents hope for children facing adversity.
Positive Values of Superheroes
Superheroes are always on the side of good, they defend the innocent against the bad guys. Superheroes represent all that is decent and they are very well suited in their everyday lives. Clark Kent (Superman) is a nice journalist, well-mannered, and helpful. But he hides a secret, which is a very exciting notion for the child–his super power. Obviously, he only uses it to do good around him. The superhero is courageous. He does everything in order for justice to prevail. It is a character that children can easily relate to because in their imaginary world, they also require extraordinary powers. To children, these superheroes, offer hope for the future.
Relatable, Hard-Working, and Kind
Superheroes also have their weaknesses. In real life, Zorro is shy and reserved. Between 6 and 8 years, children are in a period of learning. They realize they have so much to learn, and that they will have to work to make progress. So, identifying with a superhero gives children confidence, and it allows them to overcome the obstacles of everyday life. Moreover, the superhero is hidden, and no one knows who he really is behind the mask. This teaches children to do good for others simply because it is a good thing to do, not for the praise and recognition of others.
A Possible Damage?
Even if children happen to fight, they can establish a strategy–they still tend to do the least harm possible. Unfortunately, they sometimes have to make difficult choices. But they have a real capacity for judgment and it teaches children to negotiate and to compromise. Not everything is black or white. These moments can even bring something essential to children–superheroes help them cultivate their imagination. At any age, creativity is an important power!
Children love to dress up and it is a real pleasure seeing them running around in their superhero costumes. If you notice that your child expresses interest in a certain character who, according to you is a good role model, you can prepare the best superhero party for your child’s birthday and, for additional surprise, hire animators who can dress up as your child’s favorite superhero character. To make everything even more fun, step out from the familiar home, and take your child to special party places for kids where they will completely enjoy this new experience. Moreover, taking a child to a trampoline center would only make your little superhero fly higher. 😉
Superheroes and Teenagers
When it comes to themes and pictures, the superhero comics are mainly for adolescents. Indeed, the superhero is usually a teenager at first. Peter Parker, Matthew Murdock, and Superman all discover their super powers during adolescence. Because of this, the figure of the superhero includes all the aspects of adolescence. The superhero is being characterized by a force, power or agility that differentiates him from the rest of humanity. Superheroes are somehow stronger than the rest of humanity. In a similar way the teenagers are stronger than the children they have been. Much of superhero’s work will also ensure that this difference does not put teenagers beyond the society, but encourages them to work hard in order to maintain their identity and become a part of the group. The team spirit, constantly pushing forward, and energy are included in super powers–the body grows, the energy is projected as a weapon or as a defense. Obstacles are dealt with or contained in energy bubbles. Teenagers learn how to navigate the obstacles that life throws their way.
Superhero stories often depict the life in groups that are so important during adolescence. The superhero belongs to the family, and they have to try their best and work the same way the adolescents have to with their families and groups of friends. Superheroes experience life in all groups–everyone must make their way and be recognized for what they are while agreeing to disagree. Trust and mutual respect are therefore nurtured and valued.