A superhero is defined as a fictional character with superhuman powers. This definition makes it seem impossible to be real, right? Words like fictional, superhuman, powers could never be real. Break the word superhero apart: super and hero – making those definitions, in fact, attainable.
Super is defined as very good, pleasant or excellent. Hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. These definitions are seen in our everyday service members. In comics, more times than not, when you’re born of a superhero, you acquire some sort of superpower. Which could mean, we are raising future superheroes. While there is no manual on the care of superheroes, every April the military makes it a priority to celebrate our heroes in training for an entire month with Month of the Military Child (MOMC). MOMC was established in 1986, honoring the commitment, contributions and sacrifices of military children and youth across the country.
As parents we attempt to equip our children with everything they need to eventually go forth and do great things with their lives. No parent is the same, but there are a few general rules we can all practice everyday to create a superhero over creating a villain.
1. Learn Your Child’s Love Language
Not every child has the same love language and according to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages of Children, knowing your child’s love language can make a significant difference in your relationship. The five languages are PHYSICAL TOUCH, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION, QUALITY TIME, GIFTS, & ACTS OF SERVICE. Yes children, like adults, have the same type of love languages. Do you know your child’s love language? Take a quiz at 5lovelanguages.com/profile/children.
2. Ask Your Child Daily About Their Life
If your children are anything like mine, a response to “How was your day?” normally receives a one-word answer. “Fine!” My favorite is, “What did you do today?” “Nothing!” Make sure to dig a little deeper. Although it may irritate your child, they may begin to open up or see you as an outlet. Building this type of relationship earlier in makes it become a habit or routine. As they get older, they will continue talking to you… leaving out a few details! Check out mother.ly/child/30-questions-to-ask-your-kid-instead-of-how-was-your-day with more questions to ask your children to dig a little deeper. Encourage your child to be great!
3. Ensure Your Child Knows How To Eat Properly
The way to a child’s happy life is through their stomach! That may just be my kids! Showing children the right portions and types of food to eat are as important as eating them yourself. Children tend to do as they see and not as they’re told. So be a great example. It is said that children between 6 and 12 years of age should consume 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day, depending on how active they are. When possible, try your very best to pull from all five food groups everyday. Check out more information at healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/5-food-groups.
4. Workout with your child
So many adults hate working out. Factor in the lack of time and just plain laziness, you create a life without exercise. Make time to introduce your child to small exercises that can be fun without a lot of hassle. Something as simple as walking can boost their metabolism. I’ve recently introduced my children to double dutch. Riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, just getting up and moving away from the television and video games – heck, all electronics – is a great initiative. Start them early to create a habit. I’ve heard it only takes 21 days to create a habit. Find a list of 10 fun activities for you and your child at redbookmag.com/life/mom-kids/g13095439/exercises-for-kids.
5. Protect Your Child
Communication with your children will create a safe space for them. Safe spaces create a sense of protection. MWR provides safe programs for children as well as teaching tools for parents to provide information to their children. There are several numbers provided by ACS and CYS to help you get started. Speak about inappropriate places for people to touch or inappropriate behavior, not talking to strangers, and safety in the neighborhood.
6. Allow Creativity For Your Child To Explore
I can’t believe the things my children do and say. They are purely hilarious. And although I see similarities in them from their father and I, they are all uniquely different. I have an athlete, a musician, an actor (dramatic much?) and an Olympic gymnast (so she thinks). They all do well in school and are willing to try anything. I feel like they have a good balance. It is important for children to be able to express themselves in different ways. One way to be positively creative is through writing. Below you’ll find an MWR contest that your child can enter with prizes. Best of luck to them!
These are just a few things we as parents can do to care for our children. Although I’m not an Avenger or in the Justice League, I feel this is a great start to making your little superhero a Superhuman!