Hero Parenting

Imagine being the parent to Superman or Catwoman. Picture your five, ten, or fifteen year old with infinite speed, strength, willingness to face danger for the greater good, and their supernatural powers. How many times would you watch your child get knocked down by a horrendous villain before your young Hero defeats them with witts and extreme stamina?

Have you watched a Marvel movie? I have. Here is what I know:

Every single Hero faces challenges.

Every single Hero has to fight to overcome challenges.

Every single Hero gets knocked down multiple times.

Every single Hero perseveres.

Every single Hero finds their way to becoming the victor.

Iron Man's parents do not scold him when he gets knocked down or faces a new challenge. Wonder Woman's parents do not fight the villains for her. Nor do they tell her how to avoid a battle. The Paw Patrols do not have a parent boarding them up at night or a leash to keep them close by.

Hero's have accountability partners, peers to help them along the way, space to fail/learn, and support from those who love them. They do not have anyone intervening for them. Thank goodness! Would you want to watch a movie based on Spiderman being too scared to fight because his family never let him? Or, imagine a story about Batman, who was kept in bubble wrap because his parents were afraid to let him lose a battle.

The truth is, your child is a Hero too. Sure, your child is not punching mad scientists or needing to smash their evil opponent into a wall, but your child is facing challenges. Their challenges come in the form of friendships and math problems, learning to swing and read, or being responsible, and strengthening their growth mindset.

Your child needs the space to face their challenges on their own. You cannot protect your child from every splinter, heartbreak, disagreement, failure, opposition, or struggle. In fact, the more a parent tries to intervene, the more a parent says, "I do not trust that you can handle this."

Your child needs you as much as they need you to let them be free to face their challenges. And when they do, they need you to show them love, grace, and support.

What are your child's superpowers? If you gave your child room to embrace their challenges, how would your child flourish?

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