This question prompt evolved on its own, and quite unintentionally, in the course of my many conversations with Ay. I find it to be a beautiful exercise in self exploration, reflection, confidence building and self worth boosting that we touch upon on a regular basis. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you would like to try it with yourself or your child (or even your spouse)!
Every so often, or when the situation presents itself, I ask her – “So Ay, what is your superpower?” And the answer is always an interesting one. Different each time and always insightful. “I can jump really high!” or “I am kind to my dolls and take care of them” Some of the times she poses the question back to me “What is your superpower, Mama?” In those moments, I have to overcome years of conditioning, cultural and personal, to not say boastful things or brag and my own limiting beliefs. I always begin with “My superpower is that I love you the most in the whole world.” She is persistent, “What else, Mama?” and I pause for a moment to think about my superpower and tell her. I make sure to sound like I really believe it and still cringe inwardly from old habit. She is satisfied and moves on to other things.
We speak about superpowers of other people that Ay interacts with everyday or those she notices as we walk about or drive around. Sometimes it’s about the helper who comes to our house (“Her superpower is she can tidy up the room in no time at all”) or the kid at the playground (“She is looking out for his baby sister and making sure she is safe”). We speak about superpowers of birds and animals from her books that she is currently obsessed with (“The blue jay can hold 4 acorns in its mouth at one time!”).
She is now onto the game and often makes up superpowers on her own. It’s a delight to play along on these conversations. It is a way for her to appreciate the strengths of others and of herself. It allows her to see beyond the surface and really dig deeper. It allows her to realize that different people (and animals) have their own unique strengths and the differences are what makes each one special. Lessons for life begin to have and hold