Having your own super-powers would be a neat challenge, but would you willingly impose them on your child? That’s the heart of this week’s Poll Position:
The way I see it, you have two sets of consideration here. First, what effect would having those powers from a young age have on a youngster? And second, how would their abilities affect your ability to parent them effectively while they are growing up? Looking at them one-by-one:
- Flash: I think this set of powers presents the fewest disadvantages in terms of childhood development and parenting. Granted, they could more easily run away from home, but if you’re at the point where your kid’s fleeing your house, you probably have bigger problems than speed. However, the super-fast metabolism also requires huge amounts of food, which would be darn difficult to keep up with.
- Human Torch: I’ve had nephews who almost burned their houses down playing with matches, I shudder to think what a five year old who can hurl fireballs would be like.
- Professor Xavier: On the one hand, I think being a child with instant access to the most intimate thoughts of everyone around you would hopelessly warp you. On the other hand, it’s possible that knowing everyone else that fully would make you much warmer and stronger and more confident since there could be no lies where you’re concerned. But I don’t think I could in good conscience take that risk with my son or daughter.
- Spider-Man: Most of Peter Parker’s problems stem not from his powers but from other factors in his life, so as a “naked” power set this one is pretty attractive. However you almost have to live in a city with tall buildings for Spider-Man to be the most effective — if you have nothing to swing from, travel gets problematic, and what good is it crawling the walls at Walgreen’s, you know?
- Superman: How do you parent a god? What if your kid turns out to be a bad apple, as they sometimes do, and you’ve given them the ability to kill everyone on the planet without breaking a sweat? Having Superman’s powers yourself is one thing, giving them to someone else is something else entirely.
So having thought through all that, I think I’d probably choose Spider-Man. He’s strong, can avoid trouble, is quick, and couldn’t do mass harm if he turned out badly.