Happy Friday Everyone,
I have written previously about the power (both positive and negative) of our words. One phrase that I may or may not have noted previously, is "the real world". This phrase is very popular and used frequently when talking to children. I know I have used this with my own kids as well as with students. But, have you ever thought about what the potential perception could be when we tell our children/students "wait until you're in the real world" or "I'm getting you ready for the real world"? I hadn't until just recently. We could be giving the perception to our children that their current state of being isn't real or important or relevant. This is a very dangerous perception to be giving. Everything our children experience, regardless of their age, is real. It is relevant, important, and very very real to them. Our generation of children is growing up in the most complex, stimulating, connected, and fast-paced era in history. So when they hear us say "wait until you get into the real world" do we mean to make them think that what they are experiencing right now isn't real, relevant, or significant to us or shouldn't be to them? I firmly believe this is not our intention. The term "real world" is so widely used that MTV created a series called The Real World. Perception is a reality for almost everyone. It would be wise for us to coin a new phrase of "life after school". Saying to our children, "We want you to be prepared for life after school" has a greater perception potential than "We want you to be prepared for the real world". We love our children and students. The last thing we would want is to give them the perception that their current life is not real or important.