One of the reasons I think so many girls are completely enamored by the concept of superheroes—myself, included—is that they are just like us. They’re seemingly regular people who happen to have a secret identity with powers or talents they’ve honed to help others. So, really, anyone could be a superhero AND THAT IS SO VERY COOL. What’s even cooler than that is the fact that as parents, we can actively show our kids how to be real-life superheroes. And it isn’t even hard to do.
Much like our caped counterparts, parents often do the hard work of keeping an eye on everyone, helping others, being brave, and saving the day. Since we often do so while juggling all of our other jobs and responsibilities, rarely do we acknowledge what we’ve done. Yes, humility can be a lovely trait, but sometimes we take it a bit too far by staying so mum on the work we’ve done for ourselves and others. How can we raise the next generation of superheroes if we never give them the chance to train with us?
Our girls are often far more superhero-like than they realize, and capable of turning everyday situations into the opportunity to be just like their favorites. They have the confidence. All they need is a little nudge from us to show them both what they’re already doing and what to try next to be like their own real-life superhero. Here are some ways we can inspire our daughters to soar:
1. Act confident in ourselves. Even if it means putting on a talisman—special ring, golden cuffs, funky knee-high socks—to remind us how powerful we are.
2. Show resilience when faced with difficult experiences, but never hide how our heart truly feels. We’re at our most brave when our knees are shaking at least a little, right?
3. Instead of making assumptions, do some detective work to get to the truth.
4. Rather than keep our heads down and focused on our own problems, watch out for others who might need help with theirs. Recruit our daughters to be a part of that solution.
5. Have the kind of sense of humor that doesn’t make hurting people’s feelings the punchline.
6. Act compassionately through empathy, giving, and educating others on why they should care, too.
7. Don’t fall for the fallacy that we can only be good at either school stuff or sports because of our gender, and encourage our daughters to give everything an honest try before deciding whether or not they like it or are good at it.
8. Do the work it takes to be as strong as we want to be without shame, whether body or mind, but show that we can end an argument without throwing a punch (metaphorical or otherwise).
9. Take the chance to put ourselves out there in social situations, because one never knows who they might meet. It could be someone who needs our help or a friend we didn’t know we needed in our life.
10. Be willing to help others no matter who they might be today or tomorrow (or in the past via interdimensional portal/time machine).
Want to give your daughter even more inspiration? Check out the DC Super Hero Girls, a diverse group of crime-fighting teenaged besties who are just like them.