1. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    How Might Superpowers Affect A Kid's Psyche

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lorddread, Nov 2, 2011.

    Okay twin children of a super heroine, a little after their tenth birthday they begin manifesting flight, super strength, super speed, invulnerability, enhanced senses and laser vision. How could this affect the average child's behavior; also, they have no father, he left the family due to the pressure of being a super being's husband, and their mother was absent a lot.
     
  2. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    Okay so first of all I would focus on the problems that these kids have pre-powers. Kids who are left alone a lot are shy and quiet and sometimes socially awkward. They probably have an extreme problem with their father because he left because he just couldn't handle it, making it hard to have successful relationships with males. Plus kids who watch their parents kick around bad guys are going to be violent natured. Probably a strong attachment to their mother because she's not always around, and a longing to have good relationships with females.

    That's just one opinion, I'm no psychologist or anything.

    What sex are the children? Sometimes that helps
     
  3. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    male and female
     
  4. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    If they grow up with out a father figure, then they might have some 'daddy-issues' and if their mother is barely there, I think there also be some problems with that. Who took care of them? I think that person would have more respect from and authority over the children, they'd probably listen to them better. If they had no real authority figure, then they might act up a lot and always seek trouble. If you combined that with gaining super powers, then there will be a lot of trouble, because they could use them to do some real damage. They would think no-one can stand in their way and that they can do what they want. Though it would depend on their personality too and possible gender. Also, it would depend on the live experiance they already have and what they'd been taught.

    This is my opinion on the matter mind you, but every child is different. You could have two with the same or similar experiences in live and be completely different, which might be a thought for your idea - are the twins going to act-out and behave in the same way?
     
  5. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    I would say that the two would probably be very close, closer than most twins, especially if its a them vs. the world kinda thing.

    The boy would probably have frustration issues and the girl might be very introverted, maybe?
     
  6. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    This is what I'd also say. I imagine one of two major responses, though there's likely lots of variations, and perhaps even major responses that I've overlooked:
    1. The child becomes arrogant, thinking that he/she is better than everyone else (and, in a way, they are) -- this leads to anger issues, frustration with themselves/others at anything that falls short of expectations, etc. This kind of behavior usually manifests when there is an unconscious fear they they really *aren't* good enough or better than everyone else, especially when comparing themselves to others. This would more often be the attitude of an antagonist in your story, and generally leads to fairly good, complex characters, since in the real world, most people don't do bad things just to do bad things; they're either acting out over something, or they believe they're doing right.
    2. The child is very uncomfortable with his/her powers and whatever attention they receive. They want nothing more than to be normal, just like their "normal" friends. This can lead to anger issues and some resentment -- they might get in occasional fights with their normal friends over this (though they would generally feel really bad about this and make up with them eventually). An example of this kind of character is Harry Potter, especially between 11 and 13ish (It's what I'm reading right now, so, of course, my examples are going to come from there :) ). He doesn't want to be normal normal (muggle), but he wants to be a normal wizard, not special. He shies away from any attention he gets over being different. This is your classic, likable protagonist, who usually grows to accept his or her powers, but is still, in general, somewhat humble about them.
    Characters tend to be very complex. Characters like this, with deep psychological motivations, can be hard to just make up; they might become artificial. I would suggest interviewing your characters -- a good method to do this is start asking them questions about how they feel about different things. Keep asking "Why?" questions, and eventually your character will get frustrated, throw up their hands, and say "I don't know... that's just how it is, I can't tell you why!", no matter how much you pester them about it. Those things are the deepest motivations of your character, and the framework you should build your characters around.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's an interesting question. I once wrote a story about a boy who had super strength from birth. Once, when he was four or so, he got frustrated with not being allowed to do something he wanted and he ran away from home. It was easy, physically, for him to survive alone in the woods, free from any kind of authority, but he got terribly lonely. His parents eventually found him crying and he never ran away again. He basically voluntarily accepted parental authority, and love, because the alternative was intolerable for him.

    I've never thought of what it would be like for a kid who has been normal until the age of ten, and who then suddenly gets powers. Ten might be old enough to cope, emotionally, with separation from parents, especially with a similarly-powered twin, so these two might reject any kind of authority completely and run away permanently, and live outside of civilization. Of course, a super-powered mom would chase them and bring them home. My superboy had normal parents, so that wasn't an option.

    I think that, so long as their mom is super-powered, that makes the relationship between parent and children still a reasonably normal one. She could still set the rules and impose discipline when it's required. So it might not be that different from a normal parent-child relationship.

    Have you thought of having the super-powered mom leave the family instead of the normal dad? A normal dad trying to cope with super-powered twin kids might make for a more interesting story.
     
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  8. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    I think that the kids will be raving mad by the time they are 21. Having the powers they have could be quite a burden for their age. They will be missing the fundamentals of being a kid and instead have to focus on keeping their powers in check. They also have to do it without little to no parent support. They might also have to keep it secret turning them into sociopaths, not a good path for children to go down.
     
  9. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    By absent I mean she left them with nannies a lot, due to having a severe samaritian complex, meaning she can never really be of the job.
     
  10. seelifein69
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    Lol that's what I'm thinking.
     
  11. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    Insane sibling rivalry.

    The male child may become a bully, feeling the need to establish dominance, as he is without a father figure.
    The girl may act up due to her appearance? if she's unattractive...

    They may turn to the left hand path of "survival of the fittest".
     
  12. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    They grew up not knowing their mum is a superhero.
     
  13. AmyHolt
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    I like the idea of living with a normal dad even if the relationship is rather disfuncational.

    Also it's possible that because the twins have each other, they have been able to develop a strong emotional attactment to someone. That itself might very well be enough to allow them to decide they don't want to be like their parents (who ran from responsiblity even if the parents felt like they had a valid reason). That desire to do the right thing regardless of the obstacles could make them (the twins) very powerful forces for good.
    I like happy endings.
     
  14. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Maybe they could just have the standard "mum and dad are divorced" set up, rather than him being completely out of their lives. Also how could the super senses affect them?
     
  15. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    I'd bet she'd become a spoiled brat. I'd look for stories about real world kids who got uncontrolled access to large amounts of money.
     
  16. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    What could be some symptoms of their powers emerging?
     
  17. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Could this be an interesting twist? The powers actually help the kids bond with their mother; the teaching them stuff.
     
  18. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I'm not going to focus on the way they were raised and how they could affect them, but just the super powers.

    Some thoughts.

    When a kid is a lot stronger than the kids around him, he might become a bully, depending on how he was raised. So have super strength could easily go to a kids head, making him a bully. But it might also push him in the other direction and help people being bullied.

    Having super strength would build much confidence, so much so that the kid might not fear any adult. This lack of fear might make the child disobey his elders. Why should I do that? You going to make me?

    Run through each super power like that. How might flying effect a child?

    What if the child had a fear of heights?
     
  19. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Would it make sense for them not being allowed to plqy sports?
     
  20. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Well, if they're trying to keep the powers a secret, sports would be pretty difficult. So yeah, it would make sense.

    Regarding what it would do to them psychologically, I don't think merely having superpowers would do much. After all, there are people who are talented and can do things most people can't, such as an 8 year old who speaks 11 different languages, and for the most part these kids act just like regular kids. They don't think of themselves as superior or anything, they just think of themselves as ordinary kids who happen to be capable of X, Y or Z.

    The more important impact would come from having to hide the powers, or from how others react if they don't hide their powers. Hiding their powers could have different effects. They might get the feeling that their powers are something bad, that they should be ashamed of. Or they might withdraw from other kids so they can use their powers more freely. Or they may become more secretive - if it's a good idea to keep superpowers secret for various reasons, maybe some the same reasons could make it a good idea to hide other things (that most people would say shouldn't be secret). Don't think they'd end up full-blown sociopaths though, unless they already had tendencies in that direction.

    Showing their powers, others might be amazed and start trying to get them to do stuff, in which case they may get a bit of a rock-star mentality, may be compulsive people-pleasers or may decide to hide the powers to avoid attention. Or others may get scared of them, in which case they may hide the powers to avoid driving people away, may go to all sorts of lengths to prove that they're good guys, or may withdraw or even lash out.

    In terms of absent father and often-away mother, they could go either way - they might become loners who insist on not needing anyone other than each other, or they may become clingy and love-starved, complaining to mom every time she leaves and clinging onto other adults who are friendly to them (maybe even asking those people to adopt them!).

    The two siblings are likely to have different patterns of coping, too, so you could contrast them. Maybe the one child is a loner who becomes even more so once the powers show up, while the other one is desperate to please people and gets ashamed of the powers and a bit too secretive with close friends etc.
     
  21. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    So does it seem stupid that the Utopian could manage to keep her identity hidden from her kid's? Oh and the kids names are Juliet and Patrick. Also this sound interesting? Utopian and some former teammates form a support group for their powered children, who's family's all have different ways of trying to cope. Also any thoughts on deconstructing the idea of a parent trying out a method of gaining superpowers on their kids, which is Utopian's origin.
     

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