While they are creating their hero identity, they're in the mindspace of Heroes. This is the right moment to talk to them casually about Heroes.
“Who is your hero?”
Don’t be surprised if they answer “my parents”. Parents are typically the biggest reference to children. This places a great responsibility on parents to lead by example. What does your child do that reminds you of…you? Do you need to change any behaviours in front of them?
“Why are they your hero?” or “What makes someone a Hero?”
Children typically understand what you mean, let them think of examples and help them understand a Hero is not just someone that flies or is strong, it’s someone that helps others, that doesn’t stand by in face of harm.
What powers would you need to help someone?
Humans standard reaction, even to someone in need of help or being harmed, is to do nothing. To “stay out of it”. So don’t be surprised if an innocent child says “nothing”. Being a bystander is understandable as part of our survival mechanism.
In order to change, a person needs to recognise how they are and then understand we can act differently. If they say “nothing”, ask why. See where their thoughts go. If they say “I’d do something”, ask what.
If you saw a child being bad to another child, what could you do?
This is about helping them think what their options are BEFORE a situation happens. Yes, they can intervene, but they can also call for help. Mention that even the strongest heroes sometimes need help from friends and work in teams.
The younger your child, the longer you should stay in silence and let them think about the questions. Be prepared for wondrous answers! Children are full of creativity and imagination! Anything is possible…