Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let them wear capes: The benefits of superheroes in kids' lives

We've all heard the negative superhero stuff: too much violence, stories not based in reality, and scary villains. But Heather Turgeon at parenting website brings up some of the lesser-heard positives when it comes to the presence of superheroes in kids' lives:
"In the world of superheroes, anything is possible — and this idea does more than make for a fun afternoon. All that dreamed-up play is great exercise for the brain; it boosts skills in executive functioning, or the ability to plan and focus. And more symbolic play in preschool has been found to correlate with higher reading abilities in early elementary school. One recent study even found that wearing a Superman cape and hearing about his fantastic abilities (one of them being his 'patience,' for the purpose of the study), made children better able to wait and delay gratification."
There are so many great comics and graphic novels to choose from these days--including many for younger kids. So go ahead and let your kids wear their capes to school, role-play at home, and choose a comic for bedtime reading. And, hey, let's remember that non-fiction is often scarier than fiction! As long as you're helping them make age-appropriate choices when it comes to both books and movies/TV, their imaginations can fly high.

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