Kids need heroes. Someone who is going to inspire them and offer a moral compass. Someone who is going to be a powerful role-model. A character who shows that life is an adventure that comes with troubles and hardships, enemies and danger, but always ends well. As long as the hero doesn’t give up, the victory is possible.
As Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”
Every good movie, book, or story typically has one myth in the middle – a myth called “The Hero’s Journey” that was introduced by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with A Thousand Faces.”
The author aims to show to us that adventures world-famous heroes are facing aren’t far from what we’re going through in our present life, each day.
Understanding this will support you and your child to be more persistent, patient, and resilient, just like Simba, Hercules, Luke Skywalker, and Batman.
The hero’s journey usually consists of 12 steps which could be divided into 3 major stages:
1. The first stage. This stage starts with the hero’s separation from their ordinary life. This separation happens because the hero’s boring life has been challenged by a call or invitation to adventure.
- As stepping out of one’s comfort zone is not easy, the hero hesitates at first and decides to refuse the invitation.
- Soon enough, they regret that decision and then comes across someone wise and inspiring who becomes their mentor. Once the hero feels supported and guided, they are ready to take the journey.
2. The second stage. As the journey unfolds, trials, challenges and difficulties are rising. One is more difficult than the other.
- This part carries the most significance for learning that resilience is a necessary part of any successful adventure and life in general.
- When the hero endures uncomfortable and painful tests and faces the strongest enemies, they often find new ways of solving challenges and adopt many shifts in mindset.
3. The third and final stage. Steps in this stage include: reward, the road back home, the final test, and return home.
- After many battles and obstacles, the hero finally returns to their former life. From the outside, everything seems to be the same, yet it all feels very different.
- This is because the hero has changed and transformed through the journey.
Helping your child to understand the hero’s journey within a movie, cartoon, or fairytale is a fantastic way to help them develop a moral compass of integrity, resilience, and compassion.
This kind of storytelling contains some major resilience-forming ideas:
- Helps children understand the importance of individual strengths.
- Introduces the benefits of learning from mistakes.
- Empowers children to make decisions.
- Recognizes the importance of being open to support.
- Promotes qualities such as fairness, integrity, persistence, and kindness.
- Demonstrates how behaviors affect others.
- Stresses the importance of generosity.
- Helps kids understand that life’s events aren’t random.
- Teaches the importance of discipline in life.
Your children will face massive change through their life, just like you did. Through that change they will gain greater insight into their identity and capabilities.
The sooner they find out that life carries trials, tests, and difficulties, the better equipped they will be to face them.
With morally balanced and highly accountable heroes in your child’s immediate surroundings, your child learns to embrace change in life as they embark on their own wonderful journeys and adventures.
Are you ready to become that hero for your child?
Start by identifying your current reality, recognizing the changes you need to make, and then make them in order to become a better version of yourself and a greater role-model of resilience for your child.