Why Kid Needs Superheroes

Superheroes are the most iconic fiction characters ever created, and we can’t deny that they play a huge part in our childhood.

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(Photo from http://www.dcentertainment.com)

At the early age, we tend to imitate superheroes—we even dreamed to become like them we grow up. We pretended that spider webs were bursting out from our wrists like Spider-man; that we had the ability to fly in a speed of light like Superman. When we were kids, innocent and unaware of the things we would face as adults, we dared to dream of becoming superheroes.

And like Kevin S. Mandap, a comic enthusiast and a definite superhero fanboy, superheroes have become an elemental part of our childhood, and it largely influenced and fueled most our childhood fantasies.

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“As a kid, superheroes fascinated me, even today because they are simply entertaining,” said Kevin on why he loves superheroes as a kid.

According to Kevin, superheroes aren’t just mere fictional characters; they are but a reflection of who we want to be, and also a mirror image of our world. Spider-Man is a teenage mask vigilante who represents the unlikely heroism, not to mention the possible extrovert aspect of a simple, introvert boy; Wonder Woman is a character whom women aspire to be like—strong, unbending, and remarkably beautiful; and Professor X is an allegory to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideals.

But have you thought why superheroes played significant roles in our life as a child? Why becoming one seems to uplift our spirit making us invincible, strong, and therefore, powerful?

Here’s why.

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(Photo from https://redtricom.files.wordpress.com)

A child’s fascination towards superheroes benefits them in a lot of ways. It boosts confidence and gives them a sense of competence. In a certain way, superheroes also help children on finding who they are and their place in the vastness of the world; it helps them to realize their role in the real world and how a struggle is part of that world.

“Looking back at my childhood, my fascination towards superheroes serves as a therapeutic passion for me,” said Kevin, musing over his childhood. “Superheroes help me to distinguish myself from the complexity of the world,” Kevin added.

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Mr. Jayson S. Parena, Guidance Counselor at UE Caloocan

According to Mr. Jayson S. Parena, Guidance Counselor at University of the East (UE) Caloocan, it is beneficial for children to worship superheroes. Superheroes facilitate creativity for the children, and it stimulates imagination. It also appeals to the children’s wishful thinking, triggering their hopefulness.

“A mere child is powerless, and superheroes are all about powers, and when a child imagines, he gets to escape a stressful situation, and it helps him to cope up with his problem,” said Mr. Parena on why kids tend to worship superheroes.

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(Photo from http://mobilitymastery.com/)

Making crime-fighting superheroes as role models give the children the sense of what is right and what is wrong, which are frequently the themes of most superhero comic book titles. In an educational level, the medium where superheroes are being consumed helps the children to develop their language (from reading comics or watching the animated series), and ultimately, it builds up their problem-solving skills. To add more, it also helps on in the childhood fantasies. Good for nostalgia, if I may add.

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(Photo from http://www.dcentertainment.com)

“Batman comics, specifically, are fun comic titles, but there’s something more from it. The sense of mystery amplifies my problem-solving skills as a kid, and I like it that way,” explained Kevin on the learning aspect of watching superhero animated series.

Some parents, though, are frowning upon to this notion. Superheroes have tendency to show violent nature, and it may be dangerous for a child to be exposed in any form of entertainment medium consist of superheroes.

It may also develop a child’s delusion of grandeur. In this regard, children expose to superheroes are more likely to do risk-taking activities and behaviors that could endanger their lives. And hampering a child’s worship towards superheroes dampens down their creativity.

Age of appropriateness is also a case against the love of superheroes.

“Parents have to clarify what is fantasy, and what is reality, and parents should guide their children as they grow up to nurture good values,” explained Mr. Parena to parents.

“Also parents can show that real heroes exist,” he added.

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(Photo from http://www.comicvine.com/)

Remember that superheroes is an expression of today’s culture and worldly situations?

X-Men is one of the best depictions of racism happening right now. The X-Men is a roster of super-powered mutants organized by Professor Xavier to fight off the evil in the world, despite being called and treated as “abomination” by many people. In this regard, X-Men can help children to ease them in on the racism issues surrounding our society.

Since X-Men is an allegory to racism, the children following the adventure of Wolverine and the ensemble will understand that the dichotomy placed by the society in the X-Universe is wrong. In effect, the children idolizing the X-Men will learn from these animated heroes that in the real world, placing this dichotomy is essentially a way to discriminate other people. They will perceive it as morally wrong, thus they may reject discrimination in race existing in our society.

Superheroes have a various pool of characters of different genders.

Men have the superhero genre a gazillion roster of male superheroes. Superman and Captain America are the very best ones to represent the masculine side of superheroes.

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(Photo from http://www.dcentertainment.com)

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(Photo from marvel.com)

For women, superheroes can also empower them. A-Force, an on-going comic series, is the top comic title from Marvel that supports and celebrates feminism.

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(Photo from marvel.com/comics)

Even for the young queers, they have someone they can root for—a fellow in the same page of life and circumstance.

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(Photo from https://twitter.com/knnthmndp)

Going back to Kevin, his fascination of superheroes isn’t purely of the entertainment side only, but because these fictional characters represent our world and address the problems we frequently (and infrequently) face, and then make solution of it.

“I think superheroes show the significant issues and topics of the real world, and make it relevant and interesting for the children, and also to make them care,” said Kevin, why superheroes have become relevant in today’s pop culture.

Kids need superheroes because they show them the world in a bizarre-but-true way. Superheroes make sense of the things happening in our world; it helps the kids to navigate the uncharted parts of life—the experiences they cannot go through themselves because of their young age.

Most importantly, superheroes help kids to build up a sense of morality; it also helps them to develop their optimism when face with struggles. Like the villains of superheroes, struggles are just mere obstacles they can get through to achieve their goals—a challenge in life which a struggle really is.

Superheroes help a kid to grow as a better person—stronger, fiercer, positive and intelligent. These are the reasons why kids need superheroes; they aid parents in building their child’s personality and sense of one self.

Superheroes make kids a better version of themselves.

 

References:

 

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