You are looking at: Home : Psychology

Why do children need superheroes?

Whether it’s Superman or Wonder Woman, a hero is poetry in motion

 1 of 1 

It’s easy to see why the likes of Superman, Catwoman and super-cool secret agent James Bond are such a hit with children. With their superhuman abilities, swooping in to save the day, battling baddies and saving citizens in distress, what’s not to admire? But for many parents the idea of their little cherub tearing around the playground attacking baddies with a variety of imaginary weapons is more alarming than admirable. Shouldn’t we discourage children from violent play, even if it is only make-believe?

Not according to American academic Gerard Jones, best-selling author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes And Make-Believe Violence. “It’s a common belief that these fantasy role-playing games of being heroes are in some way dangerous – that they’ll lead young children to become more violent later on. But the evidence is that the children who are most into the superhero fantasies turn out to be the most sensitive children.”

In fact, the proof is coming in thick and fast that heroes are good for children’s all-round development. They may not necessarily be the role models you would choose for your child, but it’s not your choice. As role models go, superheroes really are pretty super. Studies show that donning a super identity can help children develop moral values. Superhero play allows them to explore abstract ideas of good and bad, death and pain, and all in a safe environment. And most importantly, pretending to be super gives children a sense of control over a world that can seem big and scary. By morphing into a Power Ranger, or a Powerpuff Girl, children can feel grown-up and helpful. “And that’s a good feeling,” says social psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley. “Suddenly, they have the power to participate and help. That sense of helping other people, of being part of something bigger than them, fulfils an elemental human need.” Emotional fulfilment plus cool super powers… who wouldn’t want to be a superhero?


Useful links:

This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article

Previous article
How to nurture a good sense of humour in children
Next article
How to overcome children's fears and phobias

Things parents want to know, information, insight, parenting, family, life, health, wellbeing, psychology, child development, fashion, travel, family life, education, seasonal, celebration, kids, baby, knowledge, need to know, family time, activities, hero, superhero, fantasy

Discuss this story

They need superheroes as the nice examples of whom they want to become. But a few years will pass and they will need as their new heroes who can cope with their problems

Posted: 17/04/2018 at 15:44

The nice article, the author very interestingly conveyed his idea to us

Posted: 21/06/2018 at 12:18

Superheroes make children bring the best from them and with
What a good day to hear such news. I think that you will be glad if I will tell you about that always want to share their own experience to all users of the internet. I think that will good for every student.

Posted: 10/09/2018 at 19:35

That's the classic error we've heard all our lives, "social networks are free, so why not be at all?" No, social networks are time. And to do things well we need time and an investment on the part of the company. If we are going to be by being, except for some situations that could be given, better not to be. Fernando : Before making those kinds of decisions, let them first analyze where their target audience is and where they're really going to be worth it or they'll have a return on their investment of time and resources. How to Overcome Stress While Working on a Tough Assignment? How to Finished Easily

Posted: 30/11/2018 at 12:07

See more comments...
Talkback: Why do children need superheroes?

First Name:
Last Name:
Security Image:
Enter the code shown:

I agree to the site's Terms and Conditions & Code of Conduct: