The Hulk is a Great Metaphor

Travis Knowlton LCSW
2 min readDec 12, 2021

for child mental health

Gabriel Tover-Unsplash

Children have a tremendous capacity to create a wonderful world of magic. Fairies, dragons, unicorns, and leprechauns! You can give a child a wooden spoon, a pan, and a cardboard box, and they will be lost in their imagination for hours; it is beautiful to watch!

They grow taller, smarter, and a little more Whittier every passing moment. With this growth comes the enhanced ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings, unfortunately, though the current social influence of your world does not teach high levels of emotional intelligence.

When children communicate.

Communication for children is a challenge. They have all these new and intense emotions that they are trying to interpret and express to get them the gratification of such expression. But, of course, there are times when that communication comes in the form of aggression or violence. Violence is still a form of communication, though it's the lowest form. Hitting, throwing, yelling, and screaming are just a few ways children use aggression to communicate.

How we can use socialization to our benefit.

Children learn more by what they observe than by what they are told. Applying this knowledge, we can look to our outside world for the influence that we can mold and alter it for the child's benefit. Managing the music our children listen to, ensuring it has a good message. Addressing the people, they are around to understand the peer-to-peer influence. Working their video gameplay to minimize exposure to violence or addiction.

The hulk

Children are fascinated with the marvel cinematic universe! Sitting with our children, we can help them connect with the superheroes to have a positive impact.

Bruce Banner was in such a situation that he was gifted with the power to turn into a green monster that is bulletproof and could create mass destruction. The challenge for Bruce is the same challenge for our kids; they switch into anger without a moment's notice and cause chaos that appears to be uncontrollable!

This is where we apply the lesson. Bruce had to learn to monitor and manage his heart rate and respiration; our children must acquire the same skills. Learning to take a deep breath, walk away, or even lay down. They, too, must manage the giant green destructive monster inside. Using this analogy with children allows them to connect their thoughts and feelings to the most compelling character. They feel connected and part of the universe!

Dr. Hulk

As children learn to manage their biological responses and thus their anger, they can morph into the final stage of Bruce and the hulk. That of Dr. Hulk. Mastery of those skills will release the anger while having control and communicating healthily and productively.

I hope you found this article helpful!

-Travis Knowlton



Travis Knowlton LCSW

I'm a husband, father, veteran, and licensed clinical social worker that is here to enjoy and share!