The Superhero Solution: How Make-Believe Boosts Kids’ Perseverance | Deborah Farmer Kris

May 13, 2021

“Open up!”

“The doctor said you need to take your medicine.”

“This will help you feel better!”

“You can have one chocolate chip if you drink it all gone.”

My four-year-old needed to take a dose of antibiotics yesterday — a heaping spoonful of chalky goo — and he was not listening to any of my pleas. He lay flat on the ground, shaking his head, with his little hands clamped over his mouth.

And then I noticed that he was wearing a superhero cape. That’s part of his uniform these days. Bath towels become tools for flying. Blankets get thrown over his shoulder as he races around the house yelling, “Here I come to save the day!”

So I gave it one more try.

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Deborah Farmer Kris is a senior parenting columnist at Intrepid Ed News. This piece was originally published on PBS KIDS on Jan. 23, 2018. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Deborah Farmer Kris

A writer, teacher, parent, and child development expert, Deborah Farmer Kris writes regularly for PBS KIDS for Parents and NPR’s MindShift; her work has been featured several times in The Washington Post; and she is the author of the All the Time picture book series (coming out in 2022) focused on social-emotional growth. A popular speaker, Deborah has a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Education, and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology. Mostly, she loves finding and sharing nuggets of practical wisdom that can help kids and families thrive — including her own. You can follow her on Twitter @dfkris, contact her at [email protected], or visit her website: Parenthood365 (