National Superhero Day is April 28th. Superheroes are brave, powerful and able to overcome great obstacles – and it turns out these caped crusaders can also teach kids important lessons.
“Typically, a superhero saves the day, they try and help people, which is definitely a good message to give to kids, to be helpful and do things that are kind and to help people in need,” said Kate Eshleman, Psy.D., a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Superheroes can also teach kids about being brave.
Dr. Eshleman recommends talking to children about how superheroes often appear fearless but then also reminding them that there might be times when a superhero feels scared, but despite that fear, they’re still able to do good deeds.
This can help kids see that they can achieve dreams or goals despite their fears as well, said Dr. Eshleman.
Meanwhile, a strong female character can help remind little girls that women can do anything that men can do.
“They can be strong and brave and powerful, it’s not just boy superheroes but girls as well,” said Dr. Eshleman.
One thing to keep in mind is that superheroes can be physical, if not violent, so Dr. Eshleman says it’s important to talk with children about being safe while they play.
She adds that many children can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s pretend until they’re between eight and 10 years old so, it’s important to supervise play and talk to kids about fantasy versus reality.
“Reminding them that it’s pretend, it’s imaginary for the most part, so things like flying or jumping off high buildings aren’t safe for young kids.”