Almost a year ago, I wrote one of my first posts for GeekMom. It was about my then-2-½-year-old son, my sense that he would soon be interested in superheroes, and my worries about how to explain supervillains to him. I wrote:
“… How am I supposed to explain good guys like Superman without getting into the evil-doing, world-destroying bad guys? How do I let him know that these stories depend on bad people trying to hurt other people — and indeed, that this happens in real life, too?”
Commenters on that post had some great suggestions, which I took to heart as I geared up have these “bad guy” conversations with my kiddo. What’s implied in some of those comments, and what seems obvious to me now, is that the best approach to handling this involves “leveling up.” You don’t start with terrifying psychopaths who want to murder innocents or blow up the world, you start with vaguely selfish and easily reformed bad guys who want to “swipe” things or maybe do some occasional hitting. At 3½, my son can handle that.
Handle it? Who am I kidding? He loves it.
Read the rest of the adventures of Ellen Henderson’s super-son over at GeekMom.