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Only grown-ups can be heroes

We had our first WEEROES Landing event last Saturday, in Lisbon. I believe and hope the children that participated had a great time (and their families too). More events to come to a city near(er) to you, if you’d like me to let you know, sign-up for our news at our main page.

I for one love talking to children. I love taking them seriously, talking with them and enjoy being amazed and surprised at their overwhelming innocence, honesty and creativity.

When talking to a child, I feel like I’m walking through a maze full of mist, I need to stay sharp and try to understand where the child’s thoughts and rationale are going, ask very open questions and be patient as they carefully ponder what they say, but answer in ways I wouldn’t expect. Note: my fullest respect to kindergarten teachers as this must be their day-to-day mental gymnastics!

In trying to understand more about how children view Heroes, I would talk to them about it. One of the conversations that made my day at the Landing event was with Skylar – their heroname – an extremely wise 6 year old child. Guarded and quiet, the conversation went something (summarised) like this:

  • Do you like Heroes?
  • Yes
  • Are you a Hero?
  • No
  • Why?
  • Only grown-ups can be Heroes…
  • Why?
  • Heroes help people (…) it’s dangerous because of bad people
  • But what if a child hurts another child? Would that child be a bad person?
  • Yes
  • And what would you do if you saw a child hurt another child?
  • Nothing (…) it would be dangerous
  • You’re right, sometimes it can be dangerous to be a Hero. But what else could you do?
  • (thinking very hard and long…)
  • Could you maybe call someone to help? Maybe another child or a grown-up?
  • Yes…
  • Sometimes even strong heroes need help (I point to a couple of heroes on a poster). Sometimes they can’t do it alone, they need to ask friends. Some are even part of teams.
  • (looking up at the heroes)
  • So if you saw a child hurt another child, could you go get help from somebody?
  • Yes.
  • And if you did, then would you be a Hero?

The corners of Skylar’s mouth started to rise, their teeth started to show and a big, confident, happy smile appeared. Skylar now knew how to be a Hero when the time came. I invited them to go choose their herowear style, they went full on Twilight and from that moment until the end of the event, Skylar was one of the happiest WEEROES around. And so was I.

The father of many superheroes out there, Stan Lee.
May he rest in peace.

WEEROES isn’t just making children look like heroes. We want to do our part in helping families raise Heroes. I was thrilled last week to have found an incredible organisation that has studied how people can be heroic. They’ve been at it for years and have developed a method and workshops on it. We are now actively working with them in developing what I call the WEEROES Academy.

I’ll let you know more about it in one of my next posts.

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