Some observations I picked up from watching five male generations interact within my own family.
You Are Superman – all reality is relative and, at least in a preschooler’s world, adults are endowed with super powers. We make food appear, we are HUGE, we can lift heavy objects with ease and we hold sway over every aspect of our young children’s lives.
When I admit that my son thinks that I’m Superman, certain positive outcomes flow.
- I’m more patient with him
- I can see how shattering it is when I don’t have time for him
- I treat him better
In making a habit of treating one person better (because, well, I’m Superman), I create a habit that helps me treat everyone better.
What happens when we look up the family tree?
Part of becoming an adult is creating an identity separate from our parents. The teenage years are all about the push-pull of this transformation. If you’re struggling with your teenagers then I’d encourage you to remember that somewhere in their psyche, you are still Superman!
The bizarre anger and rejection that we see in our families. The behavior makes more sense if you remember that your kids are trying to cope with the impossible task of defining themselves separate from the most powerful people they have ever known (their parents).
Some of us never let go of this habit of pushing away.
Just like the Easter Bunny and Santa, at some stage, my kids are going to figure out that I’m not Superman.
But somewhere in their psyche, there will always be a seed that says otherwise.