What is Real? What is Pretend?

Okay, so if, as adults, we struggle with what is fake news, how likely is it that our children have it all figured out? The purpose of these conversation ideas is to help children understand that much of what they see ‘in real life’ is performance. To get them thinking. All the world is a stage and we can help them appreciate and discern.

  • When kids are very young, introduce a ‘real or not’ habit. Start and stay relatively easy. Cartoon characters. Superman? What is real about Superman or Superwoman? There are real people pretending but they can’t really fly. As a parent, pretend to be a superhero and talk about why we enjoy those stories.
  • If someone isn’t happy but they are pretending to be happy, what might be going on?
  • Politics provide lots of opportunities to discern. How can you tell when a candidate is telling what they really feel or believe vs what they want the story to be? Explore the concept of ‘staying on message.’
  • In their real life – explore situations when people may pretend to agree, feel, etc. Why do people do that? Do you do that?
  • Bottom line – the Shakespeare quote, “All the world’s a stage …,” is always a helpful context. In real life. Explore intentions behind statements.