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Everyday superheroes: Parents & caregivers

It probably wouldn’t occur to most moms, dads, foster parents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers that #WhatMakesASuperhero is just the right hashtag to mark Mother’s Day (and next month, Father’s Day). But a beautiful little video about five-year-old Cammie and her aunt-turned-foster mother Camellia shows how small things are superpowers to a little child.

From Vroom's vid about Cammie & her mom

From Vroom’s vid about Cammie & her mom

The video is part of the Vroom project and app for early child development. The app, developed “on the premise that every child is born with enormous potential, and every parent can help them realize that potential,” gives parents and caregivers little activities that “turn everyday moments into brain building moments.” For example, when you’re out running errands with your child, have him or her be the keeper of the list and check off errands as they’re accomplished; or when you leave the house or apartment, put your child in charge of turning off all the lights; or when waiting for a bus or a light to turn green, make up a story together about someone you see nearby.

So if you have a little child at your house, know that simple, conscious connecting is powerful: eye contact and curious, open-hearted questions about what a child’s seeing and doing during play in digital and physical spaces (see this page for more “Brain Building Basics”). An example I love came from media professor and grandfather Stephen Heppell in the UK (I wrote about that here). Listening to him taught me how to turn videogame play into experiential learning for both parent and child.

So happy Mother’s Day to all parents and caregivers, all superheroes to the world’s children! My hat’s off to you.

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