bringingupbuddhas

suburban adventures in bu-curious mothering

Tag: superheroes

great programming for young boys courtesy of PBS

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Every Sunday night, all summer long, my 4 year old has been asking me this question:  “Mama, Mama, Mama, does Supewhewo Camp stawt tomowwow?”

Finally, two days ago I was able to give him the answer he so desperately wanted to hear, “Yes, buddy!  Yes!  Tomorrow is the first day of Superhero Camp!”

“Woohoooo!” he yelped while punching at the air with his tiny, happy fists.  “Mama, Mama, Mama, can I weaw my Supewman T-shiwt?”

“Sure, bud!”

“Is it clean?”  (Sadly my response is too often what he so desperately doesn’t want to hear but that day he was in luck.)

“Uh-huh.”

“YESSSSSSS!!!!!”

He took off for his room to pack a bag and lay out his clothes for the following day.  Then he came back down, “But Mama.  Mama.  Mama,” he said patting my rear end, “I need anothew Supewhewo shiwt for the next day.”

“You can wear your Wild Kratts T-shirt, dude!  Chris Kratt is the best superhero ever!”

“The Kwatt bwothews awen’t supewhewos.”

“Whhaaaattt???  Of course they are!  They rescue animals don’t they?”

“But, Mama, they don’t F-LLLYYYYYY.”

“When they have on their falcon creature power suits they can.”

“OH YAH!!!!!  I’m going to be Chwis Kwatts.  WOOHOOOO!  Can I weaw a cape wiff my T-shiwt?”

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If you have a little one at home, you are probably familiar with the Kratt brothers on PBS.  They are animal experts who are known for getting down and dirty with creatures of all kinds, first with their show Zoboomafoo and later with their hit show Wild Kratts.  They don’t hesitate to roll in the mud or tromp though a swamp…  and they’re fun to watch.  My kids love these guys.  Especially my nature-loving boy.  Honestly, “nature-loving” might be an understatement.  Nature-ADORING, Nature-OBSESSING, Nature-WORSHIPPING boy is more on the mark.  My oldest daughter regularly entertains us by singing the Wild Kratts theme song to the rhythm of her own clapping hands while Nature Boy spins wildly in circles and hurls his body onto the floor.  (This primitive behavior is considered dancing in my household.)

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What I love about Chris and Martin Kratt, and why I’m writing about them today on BUBs, is that they’ve created a wholesome program that is centered on compassion, education, nature AND adventure.  This is especially important for our young boys who are almost always attracted to shows, events and toys that involve destruction and fighting.  Caring for and rescuing animals is a beautiful lesson in compassion and I’m standing up applauding these guys and the work they do.

Animals are a wonderful way to teach our little boys about reflexive compassion.  When we witness an animal in trouble, compassion is automatic.  And once that feeling of compassion becomes part of a child’s emotional foundation, they can have a better understanding of how to apply it when dealing with people.  Let’s face it, it can be hard to have compassion for humans sometimes.  As a mindful adult I find that I consistently have to remind myself to be compassionate when people around me are acting like jerks.  Imagine how challenging that is for a kid!

So there was a study that came out a few years ago.  I can’t remember who conducted it, but it was a happiness study based on words posted by children on social media sites (happy, love, peace, etc.).  Guess which state was voted to have the happiest kids in America?  (Go ahead and play some thought-stimulating Jeopardy music in your head while you ponder…  Doo!  Do-do-do-do-do-do.  Bom, bum!)

New Hampshire!

Yah baby.  Go New England!  I’ve gotta say, I’m not surprised.  Have you ever been to a New Hampshire State Fair?   One conversation with a young person about how they feel when caring for their animals is all you need to be convinced of the cornerstone of their happiness and kindness.  Farmer kids and 4-H kids are so damn nice.  The way these kids love and care for animals is inspiring.  So in a state like NH where nature prevails and farms are everywhere, I’m venturing a guess that the reason for being the happiest state in the nation has something to do with animals.  At least that’s my unscientific, un-researched theory.  But pretty a good one, right?

Kindness and compassion, though two different qualities, support each other in every way.  It’s impossible to have one without the other.

So in this spaghetti test called life, I suggest to toss the Kratt brothers against the wall and see if they stick.  My son is still only in-the-making of a man but from what I see so far, I have little doubt that his deep and passionate love for animals and nature are helping him to build a strong foundation of compassion and kindness.   Big props to my favorite superheroes for their contribution in supporting his development.  PBS made a great investment when they plunked their taxpayer dollars down on Wild Kratts.  Check your local guide for listings.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

p.s.

Please share if you enjoy this.  😀 ❤

does your kid have superpowers?

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Some superheroes wear capes and masks, crested unitards and holsters packed with magical tools.  But there’s another kind of superhero.  The kind that wears smocked dresses with patent leather Mary Janes or grass stained jeans and Red Sox caps.

My kids are the latter kind.  At least I’ve always told them so.  When they were tiny I’d tell them that they were born with superpowers:  the power to make people feel good by showing kindness and forgiveness, the power to end sadness by sharing their toys and offering a helping hand.

If they ever doubted the strength of their powers, I’d say, “Go on and test it out.  See that little boy crying by the monkey bars?  Ask him if he’s okay.  Use your superpowers to see if you can make him feel better.”  And they would.  And they’d be convinced.  “See?  That’s the power of compassion!”

One day ages ago, I was at the splash park in Belmont with my daughter and her friend.  The girls were whispering and pointing at a woman across the water wearing a beige burqa, black gloves and purple Merrells.  Her face was veiled, just her eyes were visible.  Those eyes were focused intently on her baby girl splashing playfully and wildly in the same pool as my crew.

“I’m afraid of her.  She’s a stranger,” said my daughter’s wide-eyed friend, laying eyes on a fully covered Muslim woman for the first time.

“No, no, she’s not scary.  Let’s go say hi to her and she won’t be a stranger anymore.”  The girls looked at me like I was totally insane.  They resisted and skidded as I grabbed their rigid slippery hands and sloshed across the puddles.  As we approached, the Muslim woman was chatting on her cell phone.

I waved at her and wrinkled my eyebrows apologetically, “Would you mind if I interrupted your phone call to ask a question?”

She looked a little surprised but smiled at me with her eyes and hung up her phone, “Oh yes, is everything okay?”

“My daughter and her friend were feeling a little afraid of you because of your burqa and I wanted them to meet you.”

“Come!  Come!”  she beckoned with one gloved hand.  She pulled the veil away from her nose and leaned into the girls.  They peeked down her dress (as did I) and admired her gorgeous face.  “I only wear this when I’m outside.  But when I’m at home I wear anything I want.  I wear my hair long, I wear make up.  My favorite color is pink.  What’s yours?”

“Purple and turquoise and orange and yellow.  And pink,” said one girl.

“Rainbow and pink,” said the other.

“Come and talk to me anytime.  Don’t be afraid.  I’m a mom just like your mom.”

The girls asked a few intrusive questions, as kids do, and I thanked her as we splashed away, figuring out which superpowers we’d just activated.

“The power of friendliness!”  my daughter shouted, bounding over a shooting stream of cold water.

“The power of fearlessness!”  I cheered.

“The power of pink!”  laughed her friend.

Then we extended our list of superhero garb to include bathing suits, aqua socks and burqas.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

Please read this story with children in your life who have superpowers.  Tweet, pin, tumble and share wildly, please.  Thank you!