Over the years, I’ve heard these lines often, but only now do I understand what they really mean. Only now do I understand why they stung so much. Maybe to some kids they were innocuous, or only said in a matter-of-fact way that was easily accepted; but to me, they were stifling, a road closed sign, a way to cut me off and cut me down.
Have you had similar frustrations?
“You ask too many questions.”
“Because you’re too young.”
and my personal all-time very worst-
“Because I said so.”
These lines always implied to me that I was too young, not knowledgeable enough (hence the old “experience”-How do you get it without getting it? conundrum), or that someone else knew what was best for me.
School brought on lines like these:
- “The WHY isn’t important.” (Particularly outraging for me.)
- “Follow these directions-exactly.”
- “Memorize this.”
- “Stop dreaming.”
- “Use only these colors.” (Uh, why?)
- “There’s no room for creativity today.” (Kill me, now.)
Time limitations always seemed to bring out the worst.
- “We don’t have time for questions.” (Really?!)
- “You’ve been working on that long enough.” (One of the best reasons to homeschool a gifted child.)
- “Put that away; it’s time to…..”
Who doesn’t wish to explain the reasoning behind a choice when others see it as incorrect?
- “Stop explaining.”
- “Why are you always analyzing everything?” (This, I discovered was actually a rhetorical question.)
- “No explanation needed.” (Which was followed by my question, “But is it OK if I give one?”)
- “Why do you always have to be right?”
(I often heard this when I was in opposition to an answer; even while ready with my evidence. I never did, but always wanted to ask the same, “Why do you?” Again, I later discovered this was also a rhetorical question. Which makes me wonder….do all gifted children come to understand the concept of a rhetorical question later in life?)
When different means wrong.
- “Yours should look like mine.”
- “I’ll show you the right way to do it.”
- “There’s only ONE correct answer.” (argh!)
Then there were the “meant as” criticisms that I always took as compliments.
- “You’re always thinking.” (LOL!)
- “You read too much.”
- “This is unrealistic.” (So is your world to me.)
So, while it doesn’t look like we’ll be changing the world any time soon, at least maybe you can share these lines with your favorite gifted kid and tell them that there are some people out there who really do understand.
What are some of the lines you’ve heard?
UPDATE: A gifted child decided my post needed a follow up. I’m THRILLED to present to you and up and coming talent through the blog Uncharted Journey. So, if you’re a gifted kid and you have more ideas, be sure to share them with both of us!