Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I'm a Superhero Mummy!

As you know, I have two boys. They are both completely besotted by superheroes.

My two masked little men!
They have superhero pjs, t-shirts, posters, costumes, masks, torches/flashlights, colouring books and trading cards. Although I think they are too young to watch the real superhero movies (even the old ones), we have let them watch Disney Pixar's The Incredibles and they have also seen the Lego movie which has superheros in it.

Even Daddy gets in on the act. 
Because this is one of the first things my oldest has really shown a significant interest in, we have been encouraging this interest in superheroes (mildly anyway). Yes, superheroes are good people. They look after people especially those they love and they never really hurt anyone (hm...white lies never hurt). Oh and most importantly, superheroes always eat their vegetables!!

In our house the superhero phenomenon has gone beyond just Spiderman, Superman, Batman, etc... Sometimes I'm a superhero, as is Daddy. Sometimes even Tristan the dog is a superhero depending on how much patience he has in the boys putting a cape on him (poor Tristan!). All this superhero excitement is very nice and as a bonus the superhero play keeps our two little boys busy for ages each day. But, what do you do when the superhero phase gets dangerous?

A friend had actually asked me about this before and I sort of nodded in sympathy as I knew soon what she was talking about might reach the imaginations of my two boys. But seriously,  what do you do when your children think they are actually superheroes? I don't just mean saying 'Hi mummy I'm Superman', but actually throwing themselves off furniture or out of the (stopped) car because they think they can fly?  Or when they start kicking each other or friends because that's how superheroes save the day? Just what are you supposed to do then?

Tired Spiderman, after a day of combating evil :)
As a mum who absolutely adores fiction and using imagination, I don't want to take any of the magic away from the idea of their favourite superhero. However, I did decide that a little chat about superheroes was necessary, especially when both my boys decided that without a doubt they could fly and would someday surprise me by doing just that! Too scary to wait around for that moment so we had a chat.

Superheroes are pretend people that help us to see good in others, to recognise the good and potential in ourselves, to teach us right from wrong and that we should help those less fortunate when and if we can. Nobody can actually fly and kicking hurts people so we should never do that.

I think my oldest understood a bit, my youngest, not at all. But it has stopped some of the crazier behaviour like kicking and jumping out of cars (although they still jump off all our furniture to my dismay) and has opened my eyes to how impressionable they really are at such a young age.

We'll probably have to have a similar talk again at some point in the future whether it be about superheroes or behaviours of other people/peers (I'm sure we've all heard 'And if so and so jumped off a bridge would you jump too?' But for now I think I'll try and safely keep the superhero magic alive in my two most lovely little boys. :)

Have you had to talk to your children about what is pretend/real and what isn't yet? What did you say?

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