Do superheroes affect psychologically on children? Superheroes and children
We need to know that, believe it or not, here is that the media is providing standard for what is becoming normal and acceptable behaviour, so this way children are choosing superheroes as their role models when there are in fact more appropriate and real-life role models that they could be choosing, but these are then ignored. All children use to spend more and more time in front of the television, and when this happens they have more opportunity to see violent images, superheroes and children will be together forever and also after being adults.
Superheroes and children, how does this affect my children?
To put this into perspective, the average child spends more than 50% of their time out of school in front of the television and your average superhero programme contains 32 acts of violence in a one-hour show, so when you start doing the maths, that's a lot of violence being seen on a regular basis for many of our children. In addition to this, the media is affecting children's perception of reality and fiction and therefore violence and superpowers are often seen to be an effective solution to problems. It is important to remember however, that family and social factors are always going to affect the child’s response to what they see and hear, so letting your child watch superhero programmes on TV is not necessarily all negative providing you are aware of what they are watching and you discuss it with them.
Superheroes and children: Is it bad for children to wear superheroes clothing ?
Children use to wear dress up clothes in order to enact different roles, therefore if a superhero flies or fights a lot that is going to shape the play when the child is wearing superhero clothing. I fell short on this one, as my child has had very limited exposure to television and has certainly never seen a superhero programme but has managed to pick up the information from his friends at school and now has an idea of what, for example, Superman and Spiderman do.
Is it important for children to have fantasies?
Of course it is important, children grow and develop through learning and experiencing their world, in addition to which fantasy play helps a child’s creativity and imagination, which leads to cognitive growth and development. This is the one area where a child has total control – they can be anyone and do anything in their fantasies, which creates self-confidence. Two things to bear in mind, young children cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy so parents need to supervise what is watched on TV and discuss it afterwards to help teach difference between them and fantasy play needs to be controlled to an extent – you don’t allow your child to eat mud, sand and grass when they have created a meal during play, so superhero play should be monitored too
Your child believes he’s a superhero and is able to save the world – is this wrong?
Superhero play is a special type of fantasy play, involving adventurous themes and physical activity. Children take on powers they wish they had and can be the hero and special person for a time – even if it’s only in play but it is important that the children understand they are not invincible. So while it is good to believe they are a superhero, they must be grounded in reality and that’s where the parent should react about this.
Many scholars have recently banned costumes as clothing that can be worn to school, is this a good thing?
Yes! Please bear in mind that as much as this is a professional opinion I am also I'm of a four-year-old boy who has been told by his friends that Spiderman can climb up the walls and onto the roofs of buildings and that Superman can fly! So for this reason I would far rather he be in an environment where I can monitor his play while wearing such a costume. However from a professional point of view, a lot of research has demonstrated that children are more aggressive when role-playing such characters and for this reason, superhero costumes should be banned at schools and this should also apply to wrestling related clothing. However, this does not eliminate the need for fancy dress at school and ideally there should be a dress up box at the school that contains props for real-life play (ie – professions – especially those that help in a real and positive light)
Do they understand the difference between reality and fantasy? Is it important to force them to do so?
Certainly at early age, children must be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy and also truly understand the difference and whereas some children do this younger than 7, it is unlikely to occur under the age of 5. Children of five years or younger may be able to identify what is real and what is not real but they don't necessarily understand what this really means and therefore cannot comprehend the consequences of various actions.