What is a hero? We know Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Thor and Professor X - fictional heroes known for their strong sense of morality, righteousness and purpose, always fighting to do what's right. We can go back to ancient times and learn about Hercules, Achilles, Theseus or Perseus all who fought valiantly for the benefit of mankind. What is it about these stories that keep them alive through the generations? Who are the real-life heroes?

You do not have to be the son of a Greek God, born on another planet or even get thrown in a pool of toxic waste to become a hero. All you have to do is do what these heroes have done to serve other people.

Scientist, scholar and religious leader Henry Eyring explains "I have observed three common characteristics of... my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest." Here are a few ideas that will assist you in helping your children pick good heroes.

Prayer, how to get real super powers

Sincere and heartfelt prayer is hard work. It is an opportunity for us to reach out to God. The bible promises that "... all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). Through prayer, you can ask how you can be of service to others. You will soon notice impressions coming into your mind that lead you to opportunities to be heroic. As your children hear you pray for a chance to be a hero, and see you act on those opportunities, you will become much cooler than Ironman.

Service, sacrificing for the benefit of others

All heroes act in behalf of others. They put others above themselves. They recognize that true happiness comes when you give your time and energy in service. From donating blood to fighting for freedom, teach your children that true heroes are hardworking, selfless people who simply put others above themselves.

Teach your children to recognize villains. When your children decide to choose a role model, help them see that some of the popular people in the entertainment world, those addicted to drugs and alcohol, those who set their hearts on getting more stuff for themselves, are actually the villains of the world. Look for examples of righteousness, and those who encourage and inspire you to become a better person when selecting a hero to follow. Popularity and vanity will soon fade away, but a hero will always be remembered.

Introduce them to real heroes

Create opportunities for your children to meet heroes often. This could be something as small as meeting your local firefighters, police officers or paramedics. Tell them about people that have been heroes in your life such as family members, business associates, religious leaders or local community leaders. Write a list of the names of people who you know to be true heroes. Review and discuss this list with your children. Explain to them what makes these people great.

Each time you do something kind for someone else, you are being a hero. Every time you put others above yourself, you are being a hero. Each time you thank someone for their goodness you are encouraging a hero. The best thing you can do to help your children pick good heroes is to be one yourself. Pray for opportunities to serve others. Act selflessly on those opportunities. Introduce your children to heroes often and they will love you for it.

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