Openly or secretly, we all want cool super powers. Each of us is unique, with our own endowment of powers.
Life appears to be the discovery and utilization of these powers to accomplish goals, both small and large.
But how in the world am I supposed to translate that to a grieving 5-year-old demanding to know what went wrong at birth that he can not fly or run at the speed of light?? I went round and round on this dilemma.
I mean, there are powers (talents, abilities), and then there are SUPER POWERS! A common run-of-the-mill computer programmer has talents and abilities, but he isn’t Bill Gates. (No dig intended to computer programmers – it’s WAY beyond me and I admire them all).
And that’s when the proverbial light bulb turned on.
I asked my son Hunter if he knew of anyone else who was exactly like him. He couldn’t name anyone. That meant that he was unique. That meant we are all unique.
There was now a differentiation between him and other kids. A good start.
I had him list out everything HE was good at: cooking, soccer, running fast, math, making jokes, etc.
I had him list out those things he loved to do: Geocache, jump on the trampoline, play with his cats and turtles, play his Wii, etc.
When he would say something too generic like, “play video games,” I’d have him tell me what it was ABOUT playing video games he liked? What was HE (not the character) doing while playing video games that he was good at?
We then discussed what abilities one needed to perform each of these tasks, translating the words into his level of understanding:
• Physical strength
• Enough intelligence and observational skill to see similarities and differences in common things so you can translate them into jokes or solve math problems
• Listening skills
• Knowing when you understand something and when you don’t really understand
• Problem Solving, etc.
These are his talents and abilities – his “powers.” And somewhere herein lies his Super Power. The task is to identify and develop these abilities to whatever degree his power-endowment allows.