For generations, superheroes and other characters have wowed kids (and adults) with their super-duper qualities, skills and powers. They’re awesome and awe-inspiring.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, southeast Michigan kids get a chance to meet them up close as they swoop into Orchard Mall in Bloomfield Township as part of Metro Parent’s Kids Hero Con.
But those super characters can do so much more than just fight fictional crime for our entertainment. Just like in real life, every character faces challenges he or she must overcome. And, by taking a page from their (comic) books, we can help teach our kids how to do the same – no superpowers necessary.
Read on to discover seven ways for kids to be superheroes, too!
1. Act with empathy
Superheroes are created with young readers in mind, so it should come as no surprise that many avoid using any lethal force. Spider-Man, for example, has never killed anyone, friend or foe. In fact, when he was able to prevent even his own enemy’s death, he did!
Spider-Man believes that all lives are worth saving, even if that person appeared to be evil. He understands that everyone has his or her own history and motives that impact the decisions they make, and he does his best to act with compassion and empathy in his super-career.
2. Work together
We’ve all heard it: “Teamwork makes the dream work.” This isn’t a cliché, though! Sure, we could probably handle everything on our own, but boy, is it easier when we have some help. Black Panther highlights the importance and usefulness of working with a team to achieve goals.
(And truthfully, if you’ve ever had your spouse, partner or co-parent undermine your parenting, you probably understand the importance of teamwork better than anyone.)
3. Eat healthy
It’s harder to be our best when we don’t feel our best, which is why it’s so important to make a habit of eating healthy food.
While she may not be a superhero, Doc McStuffins has an imagination so powerful that she may as well be – and she is well aware of the importance of staying healthy.
4. Follow your heart
It can be hard to do the right thing. Sometimes we have to do what’s right in the face of adversity. Moana was so determined to save her village that she was willing to go against her father’s orders and head out into the ocean.
Now, we’re not saying disobeying parents is the key to success, but learning to navigate those gray areas between what’s wrong and right definitely qualifies as a super-skill.
5. Express your emotions
Emotions aren’t just a human thing. They impact superhumans, too! Not just happiness or excitement, but the “negative” feelings as well. It is perfectly OK to feel sad, alone, scared or even angry. It’s all about how we handle those emotions.
Take a note from Queen Elsa, who bottled up her emotions so much it almost had disastrous effects.
6. Give back
Superheroes are well known for using their superpowers to help save others, right? Usually. There are some superheroes, like Batman, who don’t really have any magical superpower. By night, he fights crime the old-fashioned way. But by day, Bruce Wayne knows the importance of helping others, which is why he donates so much of his wealth to charities.
Of course, we don’t all have tons of wealth to give away, but we can still help others out. Volunteer and give back to your community! You may not be super, but you’ll definitely be someone’s hero.
7. Take risks
Sometimes we just don’t realize what we are capable of until we try. It can be scary, sure, but that helps us grow. Iron Man is known to be a big risk-taker, and while it doesn’t always work out in his favor, he is able to learn from it all regardless of the outcome.
So grab your cape or super suit, put on a brave face and take a (calculated) risk every now and then.
Up, up and away
See? There are plenty of ways for kids to be superheroes. Try these seven tips to see what a big difference you can make in other people’s lives – and your own.
And don’t forget to meet plenty of heroes at the Metro Parent Kids Hero Con on Feb. 1, 2020. Sign up to register and secure your spot!
This post was originally published in 2019 and is updated regularly.