Children believe in heroes. Children need heroes, and so do we. Whether it is a young child’s belief that Batman really does save Gotham City, a firefighter going into burning building, or a spouse lovingly caring for their sick loved one, heroism and heroes exist every single day.
Every day child life specialists work with children and families to provide support services and to teach and educate children and families so that the child masters ways to cope in difficult situations. Whether it is educating on medical procedures or participating in heroic games and play therapies, child life specialists work with heroes every day. We are able to play with them, teach them, and help them discover the heroes within themselves and in those they love. Just as children believe in the magic of Peter Pan, the power of Spiderman and the strength of the Incredible Hulk, each child, parent and caregiver has that magic, that power and that strength inside of them as well. It is one of our roles to help them discover it for themselves.
March is Child Life Month, as well as a month that honors other disciplines. March celebrates Social Workers, the Red Cross, Women’s History and more. Social Work, Child Life, and the Red Cross are professions honored to serve others. In celebrating the people who work in those professions, we also want to remember to celebrate the heroes that they work with, the patients, families, children, caregivers, doctors, nurses, hospice aides, and so many more. As March progresses think of the superhero you have inside yourself. Imagine your Superhero name and powers, and see the heroes inside the people you work with and serve. As Child Life Month goes on, see how the magic of what a child can see, and believe in can empower and strengthen every interaction. Children can teach us about resiliency, strength and hope, and an absolute belief in the undefinable. It is the role of a child life specialist to help children find their heroes, both internally and around them, to give them whatever superpowers they need to “save the day.”