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Tips on Bringing out your Child’s Inner Hero

Black Panther is currently breaking all kinds of box office records and making people feel like super heroes. Although I haven’t gone yet, my 14-year-old went and said the same kind of thing I’ve seen many people say in interviews. They come out of the theater feeling invincible and like they are also superhuman. That’s just the kind of thing many parents really want to do for their children. Thanks to Hollywood, one way to do it is bring them to see this movie. But it hasn’t always been that easy. The following are some ideas for raising children who let their inner hero shine through.

Not a Bystander

Heroic people live by their convictions. They have certain values and beliefs, and they are willing to put themselves at personal risk to defend them. Think about Gandhi, although you may not be familiar with this amazing man. He was born in India in 1869 and was assassinated in Delhi in 1948. He set an entire nation of people free with his non-violent approach to incredible social injustices. He changed the world because he took action and made courageous sacrfices, and millions followed.

Gandhi may not be a leader your children can identify with when young, but he’s got those heroic qualities, nonetheless. The following are tips to raise children who, like Gandhi, choose to do something good instead of sitting on the sidelines:

  • Teach your children that conflict is a part of life. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in at all times, including in the midst of conflict. Help them find positive resolutions when conflict arises.
  • Be sure your children have plenty of opportunities to learn empathy towards other people. A study related to the heroes in Nazi Europe found that the people who helped rescued the Jews from annihilation had been taught since they were children to have feelings of responsibility toward others.
  • When they are old enough to understand it, bring your children to see Black Panther and other movies about heroism, including Oscar-winning Gandhi. Find other ways to foster imaginations of heroism. Children need to be able to recognize when something isn’t right and help to avert trouble. For example, they could befriend and defend someone being bullied, rather than walking by and ignoring what’s going on.
  • Tell your children you expect them to help victims. This will increase the likelihood that they will take action on behalf of others.

Or Do What You Do

This type of nurturing isn’t in the wheelhouse for many parents, and that’s okay. There are many wonderful ways to equip children to live happy, successful lives. Helping them to be real-life superheroes is just one of them.

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