All dads are superheroes in the eyes of their kids. Superman may be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound but Daddy could fly up to the stars and blow them out like a candle if he wanted. While it’s natural to want to reign in your kids’ expectations of you (every Dad knows the various aches that come with being a human trampoline for their kids), it’s only natural that every Dad would want to be a hero in his children’s eyes. The trouble is that the world is a trying place, that seems intent on tripping us up every chance it gets. Day to day life can upset and infuriate us and if we’re not super careful we can, without meaning to, take it out on our kids. Maybe it’s time to look to the world of comics for some parenting life lessons?
Ever since The Man of Steel first adorned the cover of Action Comics in 1938, superheroes have taught children (and grownups) of all ages valuable life lessons, providing not only wish fulfillment fantasies but the virtues of using power responsibly. Since the superhero comic has been going strong for almost 80 years maybe there might be something to their unique brand of pulp wisdom…
Be Like Bruce Banner… Keep Your Anger in Check
We all know that the Hulk is a giant green scary rage monster, but few parents are aware of just how much like the Hulk we can be in the eyes of our kids when we lose our temper. Being a parent (particularly a single parent) can be stressful and frustrating but managing those feelings and keeping them in check will make sure that your children see you as the hero that you are.
Be Like Superman and be an inspiration
Superman’s greatest ability is not his heat vision, his super strength or even his flight, it’s his ability to inspire people and help them to see the best in themselves. Nurturing a creative or sporting talent that your children may have, encouraging them to believe in themselves while respecting others and teaching them that they are valued will make your bond with them more powerful than a locomotive.
Be Like Spider-Man and embrace responsibility
Spider-Man knows that with great power comes great responsibility and as an adult its important to show your kids why they must treat the gifts of adulthood responsibly. Driving with care and attention, eating a balanced and healthy diet when it would be easier to order pizza and treating authority figures with respect shows the benefits of using the powers that adulthood brings us responsibly and sets a good example for our children to follow as they grow up.
Be Like Batman and reach out for help when you need it
Many see Batman as a loner, but where would he be without the help of Robin, Batgirl and the ever faithful Alfred. Batman shows us that however formidable we may be, there’s no shame in reaching out to others when we know we’re out of our depth. Whether you’re seeking divorce help or getting counselling for mental health issues, the very act of asking for help is extremely valuable in setting an example for your kids. Batman actor Ben Affleck said as much when he sought help for his alcohol dependency earlier this year.
Be like Wonder Woman and solve your problems with love and understanding
Children need to see that real life problems can’t be punched into submission. Nobody wants to raise their children to think with their fists. This is why all parents can take a page from the Wonder Woman playbook. The Amazon princess never raises a fist unless she has first extended her hand in friendship.
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