Superman Versus Mom

Scene 1
INTERIOR. HOUSE. MORNING.

(Young TOMMY is sitting in front of his favorite TV show, Superman)

Tommy:
Yeah! Go Superman Go! Beat em up!
(Tommy is now jumping around the room throwing punches at the air.)

(Enter MOTHER)
Mother:
TURN THAT OFF! (she runs across the room to turn the TV off.)

Tommy:
But Mom... Superman is so cool! Why won't you let me watch? Everyone else does in my class! (He starts to throw a fit.)

Mother:
That’s exactly what I don’t want you to be doing! Every time you watch that show you re-enact its violent scenes. You are becoming more
and more violent when playing with your friends. Just the other day you hit little John with a rock!

Tommy:
THAT'S NOT FAIR! I WANT TO WATCH! JOHN WAS OKAY, HE DIDN'T CRY! I did nothing wrong. I'll just watch it at other kid's houses.
Besides we like playing like that! Getting hurt is part of the game!

Mother:
NO SON OF MINE IS GOING TO HURT PEOPLE! Now get outside, go play with your friends. NICELY!

Tommy:
I hate you! You're the worst mom ever. You just don't know how cool Superman really is!

Mother:
Hate me all you like now but when you are older you are going to thank me!

Tommy:
No I won't! Why would I thank a mom who never lets me have any fun?

Mother:
I am not stopping you from having fun, stop confusing violence for fun!

Tommy:
Stop confusing fun for violence!

(The boy leaves the room and walks toward the front door to leave)

Mother:
(talking to herself)
Why can't he understand that I'm doing this for his own good? If only violent media didn't exist, then it would be so easy to raise a peaceful
son.

(She walks out of the house locking the front door and waved good-bye to the neighbor watching over Tommy as he played outside)



Scene 2

INTERIOR. BANK. DAYTIME

(The mother approaches the bank and enters. All of a sudden three masked men kick open the bank doors.)


Criminal #1

This is a robbery! Everyone put your hands up!


Criminal #2

We are not afraid to shoot! (laughs)


(The mother drops to the ground with her hands behind her head. As one criminal takes money from the counter, the other approaches her. She begins to shake with fear)


Criminal #1

What do you got in that little purse of yours lady?


Mother

Here just take it!


(She throws her purse towards the criminal. The wall of the bank breaks open and Superman appears as he steps through the hole in he created)


Superman

EVIL DOERS STOP!


(Superman beats up all the criminals just as the cops come)


Mother:

Oh Superman! You saved my life! You’re my hero!


Superman:

It’s no problem...after all it is my job. Would you like me to fly you back home?


Mother:

Oh...that would be wonderful my son would love to meet you!


(The mother climbs onto Superman's back)


Scene 3

EXTERIOR. SKY. DAYTIME


Mother:

Well actually...I'm not sure I want you to meet my son. You use violence to stop criminals and I'm not sure if that is very beneficial to his growth. A lot studies have said that children who watch violent media tend to become violent when they are older.


Superman:

Actually... that’s not necessarily the case, TV shows such as mine which feature violence give children the ability to explore power and can even give them more confidence in themselves.


Mother:

Really? How does it do that?


Superman:

They see powerful heroes fighting things that frighten and scare children. When they see heroes defeat these “bad guys” they realize that these scary people or their fear can be overcome.


Mother:

I understand that but I don’t want my little boy to grow up thinking it’s okay to punch and kick other people! I want him to have a role model but must it be someone like you who must solve all of his problems with violence?


Superman

I think you are looking at this situation all the wrong ways! Try to remember back when you were a child. When we grow older one seems to forget how powerless one could really feel as a child. Since children cannot yet understand what it is like to have control of their lives, they turn to fantasy worlds in search for control. By keeping him from entering these fantasy worlds you could actually be hurting your child’s self-esteem!


Mother

Oh my! I would never wish to damage my child's self esteem. I can remember feeling helpless when my parents would fight or frustrated when I couldn't get people to listen to me. I used to watch Looney Tunes growing up, it always cheered me up!


Superman:

Wasn't that show violent?


Mom:

Now that you mention it, they hit each other a lot but I never hit people more after watching them! When I see my little boy imitating your violent moves in front of the television I can’t help but feel nervous about what he is learning!


Superman:

I can understand that and many other parents feel the same way. However, when an adult looks at this situation they see something very different from what your little boy can see.


Mother:

Then what does he see? What is he taking away from your show?


Superman:

That's different for every child. You have to ask your son what he is thinking.


Mother:

Honestly I'm afraid to ask, what if he tells me he actually enjoys all that violence and pain? ( looks away in pain)


Superman:

Children do not take violence so literally. By the time they start school, they understand it is part of a fantasy world and they only use the violence as a crutch in order to get through their stages of powerlessness.


Mother:

It is still scary for me. I wish I could see it through his eyes.


Superman:

Adults have mostly forgotten their fantasy worlds so they make a much more direct correlation between violent television and violence in children. It makes sense that as a parent that you can't perfectly understand a child's mind.


Mother

So how do I handle this need for violence. How do I know when its okay and when to stop him? He tells me he wants to beat up bad guys when he is older! When he plays with his friends, all they do is wrestle each other and sometimes even hurt each other!


Superman

As long as play fighting is only for fun, it could actually help children to learn how to be resilient in the face of aggression. Resilience cannot be taught to our children without first allowing them to fail.


Mother:

What if someone gets hurt?


Superman:

If a child does get hurt in a play-fight we should use the situation as an opportunity to teach resilience. Now when the child grows up he will understand how to face the real aggressions they will have to deal with in the future, such as their teachers, bosses, and bullies in school.


(Superman makes his landing softly and the mother steps to the ground)


Mother:

That's fine for small scratches but some times they punch each other in the face and throw rocks at each other, pretending to be strong.


Superman:

They are kids after all; they will need guidance even in play fighting. It's your job as a parent to say when enough is enough. Time-outs and punishments, I'm sure I don't have to explain those to you.


Mother:

Of course not. I'm starting to understand where you are coming from Superman.


Superman:

I'm glad I could shed some light on this subject for you.


Mother:

Well it's definitely a lot to think about. The last thing I want to do is raise a child that cannot fend for himself. I suppose I just worry too much. Thank you so much for saving me today! I’ll never be able to thank you enough!


Superman

It was nothing really... I enjoyed our talk! Now, may I meet your son?


Mother:

Of course! He's in the backyard playing right now! Tommy!!!


(Tommy comes out from the backyard.)


Tommy:

SUPERMAN! (he runs to greet Superman.)


Superman:

Hey there Tommy. I heard you and your mother had an argument over my show.


Tommy:

Yeah! She is being totally unfair!


Mother:

Yes, well Superman explained a few things to me. From now on you are allowed to watch his show,...


Tommy:

Yes! (jumps around excited)


Mother:

BUT, I don't want you beating up your friends and hurting them while acting out the show. You need to learn the play nice.


Tommy:

I will! Thanks Superman! I never thought she would change her mind!


Superman:

She always has your best interests at heart so she will do anything to make you the best man possible. Now then, Tommy, I will see you next week. Make sure to watch!


(Superman he flies off into the distance as he finished his sentence. He becomes smaller and smaller until he soon turns into a small speck on the horizon of the setting sun.)