The theme at summer camp this week is Super Heroes. There’s one stipulation to wearing costumes to camp — kids have to make up their super heroes. My kid wasn’t allowed to dress like Wolverine or Electro (two of his faves), so he combined the two and created Electroverine. Being a good dad, I said “F*CK YEAH! THAT’S SICK!” and agreed to help with the costume.
He wanted an “electrified helmet” so I took an old hockey helmet and drew lightning bolts and a massive E on the front. He hasn’t taken it off his head since Monday, even in the 90-degree humidity. If he wants to wear it for the rest of the year, I’m fine with it, especially after reading this study from Wiley Online Library titled “The Batman Effect: Improving Perseverance in Young Children.”
Offspring, a section of Lifehacker, explains the nuts and bolts of the study.
“The results have to do with what psychologists call self-distancing. When we’re in the middle of something difficult, it’s easy to crumble under the pressure and sink into obsessive analysis. The study, published in Childhood Development, explains that mental separation helps people “transcend the urgencies of a situation and take on a more distanced perspective.” And for young kids, identifying with a character’s positive qualities can give them a greater drive to succeed.”
And take note — it doesn’t have to be a “superhero” but anyone that a child would like up to as an idol.
The trick works on adults too. They tried it with people wearing white lab coats and pretending to be doctors. OH, SURE! BUT WHEN I DO THAT I’M CONSIDERED “A TRESPASSER ON HOSPITAL PROPERTY”!
Check out the entire “Batman Effect” study.
(The photo above is from the Permanent Roommate’s Instagram. You should probably follow her.)