My favourite Marvel character is Thor and I would love to have his superpowers, wouldn’t you? He’s not a superhero, after all, he’s a god. I’d love to have the ability to summon thunder and lightning at any given moment and wield a mystical hammer, capable of leveling mountains. I could find very useful situations to use my powers. For instance, when you spot a traffic warden about to write you a parking ticket, wield your hammer. Or you can’t find parking close enough to the school when you’re doing the school run, wield your hammer. The neighbours are having a party and it’s disrupting the kids from sleeping, you get my drift. If only we lived in another realm.
While it’s nice to fantasise about having superhuman abilities, we live on planet earth and round here there are more subdued, superpowers that exist, but it doesn't emerge until you become a parent. What is it? A set of skills & abilities that helps you to assert your powers over your child. These aren’t learned abilities, it’s inherent, every parent possesses these powers. However some are better equipped at controlling their powers whenever it’s required and that comes with practice.
Over the years, my wife and I have had the experience to develop and hone our abilities. In many cases, the strength & type of your ability is directly linked to your style of parenting.
Like anything, the more you practice and exercise your skills, the better you get at using them. My wife has become so good, she has the power to make my eldest do what she asks, the first time, it's unbelievable. That’s one I’m still working on.
Let me paint you a picture. You are out visiting friends and your 4-year-old is having a strop over something so petty that it becomes the biggest theatrical show the world has ever seen and they’ve turned a bit violent to the point that they could risk injuring themselves.
You stand back and think carefully about how you might want to approach them, because if you do the wrong thing, it could all go Pete Tong and you’ve missed your chance to take control of the situation. You have to be decisive and move with intent. You then start to think about your course of action and which power to use at your disposal, which may include one of the following -
The Firm Voice - Not angry, there is a difference. This is one I probably use most often. It’s important not to sound like a lunatic and trust me, I’ve come across a few of them. The voice I use is similar to how you’d tell a dog to sit or listen. It’s important not to be aggressive, you wouldn’t want to scare them.
Scowl or Glare - It’s a contemptuous look that you would give your child. My wife typically does this really well. It comes in handy when we’re at gatherings or in crowded places and my son is constantly misbehaving. It’s the type of look she gives that indicates exactly what consequences might follow later if he persists what he’s doing.
Lightning Speed - Having two boys means we’re constantly busy. Their demands always seem to happen in sync. They’re a bit older now, so it’s not so bad, but when they were both a lot younger, it was difficult to deal with. This is another essential skill a parent learns, having to do everything at lightning speed. Eat, bath, pack bags, run to catch things your child is about to drop.
Tone of Voice - All parents have acquired this ability. You may not necessarily use it to discipline your child, instead it’s the tone of voice you use when calling your child’s name from another room in a way that breaks up their name into two syllables. I remember my mum using this ability on me whenever she required my attention. The tone hits just the right note that it goes right through you and causes instant irritation which usually results in the child giving an almost knee jerk reaction. Usually, the one you require them to take.
Sixth Sense - This is a very distinct power all parents will have developed. It’s when you get a sense, and it usually coincides with your child being suspiciously quiet in another room. Your senses start tingling, and you cautiously open their bedroom door, low and behold with some level of distress you find that they’ve managed to somehow get hold of the bottle of Johnson’s shampoo and it’s all over the floor, or their face and walls are covered with vaseline. It’s as if you know what your kids are up to.
These are actual superpowers most parents will possess, but what about powers you wish you actually had? Here is a round-up of some of those powers, parents wish they had from around the web.
"Thick Feet to withstand stepping on Legos and Matchbox cars. I asked my husband this question and he responded instantly with 'Deafness.' :-)" — Julia Brasington, Blogger, Happy Home Fairy
"Telepathy, it would definitely help with explaining things and the language barrier in the first few years." — Nicholas Pleasant, parents.com
"Produce Power: The ability to make vegetables as craveable as candy." — Jenna Helwig, Parents Editor
"Sibling Rivalry Shifter: Replaces arguing and tension with laughter and hugs." — Amnah Ibrahim, blogger, Little Life of Mine
"The ability to run on no sleep at full energy constantly. Also to be able to go invisible I might pee in piece then lol." — Amanda Gentle, parenting reader
Let us know what parent superpowers you possess or would like to possess. Share in the comments.