Are Superheroes Part Of Childhood?
When we are young; we dream about ” super beings” with extraordinary powers, mental capacities or dexterity. We watch them on television, read them in books and follow their exploits on film. It is entirely possible to create a universe with the imagination so superheroes can live. Superheroes are what makes the world go round.
I can not even contest the fascination we “can” bring into adulthood about superheroes. I have two tattoos based on childhood fantasies, and I regret neither of them (see Dad Gets A Tattoo For His Birthday!). I have D.C. comics represented on one calf (Superman) and Marvel comics on the other (Wolverine). I want to believe that each calf is in a constant battle for dominance. They both want to see who will lead the comic book universe.
Superheroes Fever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It does not surprise me, but superheroes fever has finally begun in my house. Until last week, my 4 year-old son only spoke of Elmo, Mickey Mouse or Diego, but now Xander has a few new heroes. Xander took his first step into the Marvel Universe.
Xander was sitting on the couch and asked me a question that I knew was coming, “Let’s watch the AVENGERS on TV!” His question did not surprise me. He has seen the merchandising in the stores for the Avengers. He had listened to me talk about how I enjoyed them when I was growing up.
I now had a choice to make. I can allow my son to watch other things on television, or I can stop it. I realize that once he starts school I will not have as much control. I know that other children will discuss things on television that their parents let them watch (things besides educational programming). As a former Marvel addict and proud father, I decided we would try watching something besides Sesame Street.
I knew that Netflix was showing a cartoon version of the Avengers for smaller children, The Superhero Squad. It is a more recent version and “more” children friendly. I thought The Superhero Squad could become a good opportunity to bridge the gap between educational programming and mainstream older children cartoons.
When I was Xander’s age, my parents allowed me to watch television and other programming besides Sesame Street. I am not the typical parent. I watch almost everything my son watches on television. It has been so long since I have watched “normal” TV I am beginning to think that the Disney Channel owns all cable companies.
I do not believe that I am “over” protecting my son by trying to monitor his television. I am a realist and know my little boy is growing up. I just want to keep him safe for as long as possible.
The identity of a superhero is never easy to determine!
“Dada, I like the guy with claws!” I smiled and said, “You like Wolverine?” Xander gave a puzzling look and said, “No! I don’t know him. I like Moverine!“
Xander is running around the room until I tell him to stop. He looks at me, “Dada, I can’t stop! I the big green guy and Xander SMASH! XANDER SMASH!!” (Now I know what happens when a 4 year-old becomes angry).
The thought of my son liking Captain America can make me smile. Xander said, “Dada, I need a shield that is red, blue and has stars!” I enjoyed Captain America as I was growing up and replied, “You want a shield like Captain America uses?” Xander ran off through the house, “Yep! I want to throw it and break stuff we don’t need!“
Slice and Dice Thor
Xander was playing with a toy sword and began striking it on the couch, “I am the Mighty Thor!” I noticed he was using the sword and not a hammer like Thor would use. “Xander, You know Thor uses a hammer, not a sword?” Xander looks at the sword he was holding and answered, “I am the new Thor! I want to cut things up, not destroy them.“
The Metal Torch
“Dada, I want a costume like the Torch.” I thought about Xander’s request for a minute,” Xander, I am not sure we can make a costume for the Human Torch. He is made of flames.” Xander grabbed my arm, “It not hard to make. Make it out of metal and add a zipper on it.“
After, watching the show for a week and seeing my son’s reaction. I think everything will turn out OK. Superheroes are here to stay!
Do you feel that a parent should monitor a child’s television? How old was your child when they started watching superheroes? Did/do they have a favorite character? Tell me more in the comments!
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Tags: childhood fantasies
, d c comics
, educational programming
, marvel comics
, marvel universe
, sesame street