Why Are Superheroes so Popular with Kids?
What is it about playing Batman or Superman that is so appealing to a child? Once children turned into parents and parents into psychologists, the question enters the realm of science and experts all over the world started weighing in the reasons with curiosity.
Although psychologists have yet to pinpoint with precision the genesis of superhero popularity amongst children, they have offered a few reasons for kids’ fascination with our famed, caped friends and found insight that shows the benefit in pretending to have super powers and maintaining a belief in superheroes.
So, why are superheroes so popular amongst children?
Sense of control and power
When children are small and physically ill-equipped to save the world, playing a superhero provides an outlet to gain authority over situations and exert power other pretend situations. Whether watching Batman overcome bad guys or pretending to be Supergirl defying the limits of regular humans, superheroes provide an outlet for channeling a sense of personal power that young kids are starting to develop. These playtimes provide a chance to conquer bad guys, be king or queen of the land and to rule the world.
Age of trying to find place in world
Older toddlers (4-5) start developing their senses of self. They do all they can to learn about asserting themselves in social situations, the classroom, the playground and at home in the family. Superheroes are appealing because children can role-play having a place (a very powerful place!) in the world.
Is believing in and playing superheroes a good thing?
Watching and playing superheroes invites children to question good and bad - right and wrong. Our esteem heroes are constantly pitting good against evil and making decisions that affect their entire world. Observations made through reading, watching or playing all invite opportunities for you to engage in meaningful moral conversations with your little ones, find out why they made certain decisions and discuss why situations were rooted in good or bad.
Superpowers encourage patience because they promise that all outcomes are possible. An element of magic tells kids that the world can be saved, the hero can rise, and good can overcome the bad guy. Make belief leads to higher competence and confidence by empowering the imagination capacity. Increasing imagination activity further develops the frontal cortex, which later on aids in social and behavioral development, memory, and problem-solving skills.
Most superheroes have powers that help make the world around them a better place. Glorifying helpfulness intensifies a child’s propensity to do good and be helpful to people around them.
As a child plays superhero and learns about his hypothetical empowerment over the world, he naturally discovers his power over his own insecurity and perceived limitations. If your toddler is battling anxiety or uncertainty in the classroom or on the playground, she can internalize a solution, finding her own superpower to combat the situation at hand. Accessing a sense of power in make belief situations transitions beautifully into developing real, personal power in waking life.
Superheroes are strong. They come from diverse background, possess varied and unique powers and use their strength for good. Make believing the embodiment of strength slowly reveals your child’s inner strength and remind him of the good it can be used for.
I assume we are not alone in the relief that superheroes are a healthy past time, a cast of characters worth believing in and fantastical playtime to support your kiddos in. Check out our kids streetwear at Posh Kiddos to keep your little ones comfortable and agile in all their playtime pursuits, especially those suited to suit up in a cape and save the world.