Why do heroes need courage

Children need heroes

Children need heroes: They fight for justice, always know a way out and never lose, or at least always lose with style: great idols encourage little adventurers

Role models encourage courage

Children need heroes, they say. Heroes are people who surpass themselves and dare to do the extraordinary. Those who fight for the just cause and find solutions without scruples, ”explains psychologist Lutz Müller. Heroes create everything that our children would like to be able to do themselves. They are big football or pop stars, magicians and incredibly strong little girls who go on exciting adventures. Or heroes are just beautiful, rich and successful. But even if heroes don't exactly save the world, they correspond to the hero pattern: role models encourage courage and play a role that seems worth striving for. Heroes are urgently needed: it is much easier to find your way around the world when you have an idea of ​​where to go. A great role model, an imaginary strong friend at the side can move mountains. On the other hand, mom and dad, important as they are, are not really suitable as equal partners in discovering the world. Because the children are concerned with conquering the world without their constant care.

Children long for strength and security

Heroes: Children long for strength and security

From kindergarten age at the latest, children increasingly want to determine what to do for themselves. Children want to dare to try new things, try out the unknown. But if you want to climb a tree or try mom's strange new sauce, you need courage. Powerful heroes correspond to the children's longing for strength and security. They reflect the desire to master everything just as well and, most importantly, to be successful in the end and to be admired as a winner - just like heroes. Schoolchildren are important role models for young children. “A big schoolchild would dare to do it,” they say, when they are not sure whether they can really do what they have just set out to do. If parents agree with them, they dare. At least when it comes to climbing a tree. The heroes of elementary school children are usually more than just strong protectors or role models that one wants to imitate. While the children long to belong to the "big ones" so that they can finally determine themselves and others, their heroes offer solutions for tricky situations. "Elementary school children dream themselves into the role of their heroes or think about what he would have done," says graduate psychologist Angelika Faas.

Heroes let your imagination run wild

Children find in their heroes what everyday life only allows within limits. In the cartoon series Tom & Jerry, for example, the little mouse Jerry is always tricking the big tomcat Tom. Children find this rather brutal guerrilla war hilarious because they know the constellation all too well. They too have to assert themselves every day against mom, dad, big sister or the boys from the next higher class. In reality, children would never pick up a mallet like Jerry did to achieve their goals, but would run away or call out to their parents. But it's just nice to dream yourself in Jerry's place and, at least in your imagination, to outsmart the big ones as a little one. Children know very well that they should never come to school with a horse themselves. But it makes them strong when in their fantasy they can be like their heroine Pippi Longstocking.

Animals as role models and heroes as allies

Animals are also role models for children

"Children look for the heroes they need right now," says Angelika Faas. So if you are a little unsure, you look for a strong role model, if you feel misunderstood, a hero who has to get through crises himself. Animals are also often named as role models; strong animals, for which the parents also have respect. "Depending on which topic the children are particularly interested in, these characters can also change in a short time." Therefore, parents should neither forbid their children's chosen heroes, or try to force certain ones, if possible, recommends the family & co-expert: " Just because papa thought Winnetou was great when he was a little boy doesn't have to feel the same way for his son. ”And under no circumstances should the parents be offended if they are no longer number one on their children's hero scale.

Heroes are allies of children

“The nice thing about the heroes is that they are always the children's allies. And they don't have to forbid them to eat only chocolate ice cream or stay up late into the night. Parents cannot counter that. ”But parents can do something else, namely introduce their children to a selection of potential heroes. "Children can understand much more complex stories than they are trusted by parents and teachers," says Dr. Karin Richter, professor for children's and youth literature at the University of Jena, who has also dealt with Greek legends in research projects with primary school students. "The children not only understood these stories in all their facets, they invented complex stories and wrote them down." The heroes of antiquity would have particularly liked the boys. No wonder, the legends are full of "action" according to their needs.