Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sharing superheroes with my kids...

McDonald’s recently had Legion of Superheroes figures as the toy inside their happy meal. I’ll admit to being a big enough geek that when I ordered for my daughter, and the cashier asked “Toy for a boy or a girl?” I would answer, “Boy.” Why? Because I wanted the toy, dangit.

(And because why should there be a distinction that superheroes are for boys and teddy bears are for girls? My daughter has little interest in stuffed animals beyond her beloved Puppy and Dinosaur. But she’s as rough and tumble as they come, and loves it when Daddy flies her, or blasts her off into Outer Space.)

Well, despite the fact that I wasn’t fooling my wife in the slightest, I did turn each toy over to my daughter as we opened her Happy Meals. “Look what you got! A superhero!” My daughter, being intelligent, and an amazing mimic, would reply “A superhero!”

She now actually recognizes superheroes. Not by name, she couldn’t tell you the difference between Superman and Batman. But she can look at the bright costume and (sometimes) cape, and decide that someone is a superhero. (She’s also decided that any sufficiently ugly figure is a monster.) Just the other day I was on my laptop playing City of Heroes when she crawled onto the couch and looked at the screen, no doubt expecting to see “Balls!”

(I spend far too much time playing puzzle games, and she loves watching the colored balls move around the screen.)

Well, there were no balls for her to look at, but there was a blue-and-yellow figure, flying through the air, zapping bad guys with bolts of lightning. “A superhero!” she screamed in delight.

This gives me a dilemma. My wife and I have decided to keep violent television and movies away from her until she’s old enough to discern the difference between “television” and “reality”, and when she’s old enough to understand the idea that violence isn’t a good thing, and when we see it, it’s because the hero is stopping a bad person from doing a bad thing. But how do I let my daughter learn more about superheroes without the violence?

I suppose I could rustle up old Challenge of the Superfriends and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends videos on YouTube…

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Anonymous nico said...

You could also try Krypto the Superdog.

10:02 AM  

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