A Budding Superhero
What does it mean to be a superhero??
Working with kids for a living, I am inevitably faced with all kinds of surprises and challenges on a daily, sometimes moment-to-moment, basis. Conflict, laughter, joy, hard questions, anger, sadness, hurt, confusion–these inevitably all appear over the course of any given day at Buddings. Not only do these things all appear, but they also all require an immediate response. There’s no saying, “let’s deal with this later”, or “I’m just going to go for a walk to clear my head”. Certainly taking a moment to breathe is very helpful, but generally any situation that arises has to be faced in the moment. And if something isn’t addressed, it certainly won’t go away on its own…
This past week’s recurring challenge? Superheroes!
While superheroes have many positive qualities, such as strength, courage, determination, goodness, and the willingness to help people, they are also idolized in our current culture because of their superhuman powers and their ability to fight and destroy ‘bad guys’.
The question of the week for me, became: how can I channel their excitement about superheroes into something positive?
The answer (or at least the answer that I came up with…): creating our own Budding’s superhero!
I give you, Budding’s Super Friend. A Superhero that sees everyone as a friend, works on solving problems through communication and whose power grows stronger when kids in the daycare take actions that make other people feel good. This superhero’s greatest asset is his/her big heart.
After dressing up as a superhero myself, I had a conversation with the kids (as my alter-ego Super Friend), about what a real superhero looks like, and if we know any superheroes in our own lives. I explained that some superheroes have super powers, while other superheroes look just like regular people who happen to have amazing capacities for love, caring and generosity.
As a group, we then created our own superhero. Super Friend already has two stars due to kind, caring and connecting actions that some of the kids took.
I don’t doubt that there will continue to be excitement about cool super powers and how superheroes fight bad guys, but I am hoping that by focusing on real actions that the kids can take to strengthen our own Budding’s superhero, some of their focus will move towards things that bring us together, rather than things that set us apart.