You may see the title of the post and ask, ‘Why is it just a number? It’s not 42, so why would it be the title of Hannah’s post?’
Well, read on.
So, I’ve said in many places what an honor it is to be included in Atlas Educational‘s blog post. If you haven’t read her post, you may want to head over and give it a read. I think I am still in a bit of shock from reading about my own website on her page.
As I have processed all that has happened over the past week, I started to think back to when I first was introduced to the Atlas Educational website, and I have decided that I’d like to share with you the post that first got me hooked on her site.
Here is a link to that post (the way she wrote it) 22 Lines A Gifted Child Hates to Hear.
When I read her post sometime last year, I agreed with all 22 lines that she wrote. Below, I want to share with you her lines, followed by my personal responses to them.
22 lines/statements/comments that a gifted child hates to hear:
“You ask too many questions.”
How can there be too many questions? Oops, another question. I ask questions because I want to know! Isn’t it a good thing that kids want to know stuff?
“Because you’re too young.”
People form an opinion about kids and their abilities based on how old they are. If you’re five or six, you should be in kindergarten. It’s not always true for everyone. When there is age/grade criteria to participate, I have learned to ask ‘is it based on grade or age?’ If it turns out that it’s based on age, I fold my arms and pout inwardly. If it’s based on grade, then I hope that they made accommodations for a eleven-year-old high-schooler.
“Because I said so.”
Sometimes this comes across as either ‘I don’t know, stop asking,’ or ‘I’m the adult, and stop questioning me.’ But why? I know you’re older than me and all, and I respect that, and I will do what I’m told, but I still want to know why you want me to do something, or why something happens.
“The WHY isn’t important.”
This one of the most rage-causing sentences I have heard. The why does matter, or else many people wouldn’t know what they know! Sometimes, teachers may know extra on a subject, but they don’t say it because they are supposed to teach only so much, or they’re supposed to teach that ‘next year.’ If no one asks ‘why,’ then no one will learn more on the subject.
“Follow these directions-exactly.”
This statement makes me want to do the exact opposite, if only to figure out what’s going to happen when I do! So if I don’t follow the directions exactly, what amazing magic happens? It’s good for everybody – not just kids – to be independent and do things their own way (within reason and in a safe environment.)
Memories fade, they don’t always last forever, however knowledge and understanding stick with you. Fun fact – I still don’t have the Multiplication Table memorized while people years younger than me do. This isn’t stopping me in my high school algebra class.
If you tell me to stop dreaming, to enforce it, you would have to kill me. I’ll never stop dreaming. It’s nearly impossible to advance in life without new ideas, which come from dreaming and thinking.
“Only use these colors.”
Oh, I’m familiar with this. Drawing instructions. ‘Use blue for the eyes.’ Why can’t I use brown or something? I don’t want to copy someone else’s idea. I want to create my own. I want to use all the colors.
“There’s no room for creativity today.”
There is always room for creativity, whether you’re figuring out a plan to escape from somewhere, trying to figure out how to build a house, or trying to find the right word for a blog post. Creativity doesn’t have to take up time, or room.
“We don’t have time for questions.”
Really? Don’t you want your kid questioning their friends daring them to jump off a bridge? Hmmm… Let’s drink this poison! I won’t even ask myself if it would kill me! Or maybe I should ask. Nevermind, there’s no time for questions! So… what if that really happened, all because there was no time for questions? There may not be time now to have questions answered, but there’s always time to ask them.
“You’ve been working on that long enough.”
So… is it a problem that I have 13 or more writing projects that I spend hours on? Yeah, it’d be nice to get more things done, but it’s a process. Besides, if someone has a passion for something, let them do it! They’ll learn, and most likely have fun!
“Put that away; it’s time to…”
This one makes me panic. I understand there are things to do and schedules to keep. But sometimes when I’m working, I need to keep working on it while it’s still in my head, or else my brain might lose it forever. This is why homeschooling helps me. I don’t have to change subjects so fast, and I have more time to focus on one thing.
Oooh… this one always destroys me. What’s the use of knowing if… again… no one wants you to share your knowledge? I have knowledge and ideas in my head and I want to share them.
“Why are you always analyzing everything?”
Why isn’t everybody analyzing everything? I do it because I have curiosity and I want to see how things work. And you can learn from analyzing stuff. By the way, things are more connected than most people know. That, I discovered from my constant analyzing.
“No explanation needed.”
Ok… Then I’ll just leave and explain to someone who’s interested. Or if there’s no one else, can I please just talk to myself? Because I might need an explanation myself, and if I talk things out, I often understand it better.
“Why do you always have to be right?”
Now this is where my palm meets my face. People have said this to me before, and it confuses me, angers me, and frustrates me. What am I supposed to do with the knowledge in my head? Not give answers to people who ask? I say things to share, not to be right.
“Yours should look like mine.”
*Raises hand.* Can I leave now? Individuality is a thing that people value. Doing stuff exactly like other people do… well, let’s just say it reminds me of A Wrinkle in Time. But on a positive note, this sentence is somewhat helpful. It tells me that the person who said this will most likely not value what I created.
“I’ll show you the right way to do it.”
If it’s a matter of life and death, sure! Show me how to do it right! But if you’re teaching me something, let me make mistakes. It helps me learn.
“There’s only one correct answer.”
There may be only one correct answer on a fill-in-the-bubble test, but even then, I may not agree with the answer. Aren’t there more than one reasons for everything? Sometimes I find my answers are more elaborate than ones that I’m supposed to write. Does that make mine wrong?
“You’re always thinking.”
So are you. (Well, at least, I hope.) I mean, try to not think. ‘Am I thinking?’ Since when was thinking considered a bad thing? Hey, one day I’ll be voting. Don’t you want me thinking about my choices?
“You read too much.”
No such thing as reading too much. It has taken me to other lands, worlds, and times. Every time I finish a book, I bring back knowledge.
“This is unrealistic.”
That’s why I’m doing it. So I can escape from this world for a little while. (Fiction Writing!) And by the way, thanks for the compliment.
Those were the 22 lines that I fully agree with. These are all so very very frustrating. I hate to hear every one of these, and I’ve given up trying to craft new responses for each time someone says these sentences. I would like to add one more sentence, though. (23 lines, now!)
“What grade are you in?”
ARGH!!! I have been asked that question about fifty million times. (Maybe I exaggerate…) I have gone up a few grades above my age level, and it’s soo frustrating to have other kids my age asking that question.
Even I am confused as to what grade I’m in. I’ve taken classes from many different grade levels, so I don’t know the correct answer. If they want to know how old I am, I’ll tell them. Sometimes I just say, ‘I’m homeschooled.’ That brings on the response, ‘So you’ve skipped grades?’
Either way, I only offer up enough information if I know it’s not going to be used against me.
So that’s a little sentence from my life that I dislike to hear. Now, to end on a good note, let me share a thing that this gifted child loves to hear.
I like to know that the way my brain works isn’t totally alien for everyone else, and that people actually understand what goes on in the chaotic space called my head. (Even if they don’t understand, the fact they say ‘Great idea,’ helps me move forward and create more ideas.)
With that, again, I’d like to say thank you to Lisa! It means a lot to me to be included in her post. She has been one of my favorite blogs to follow ever since I started Uncharted Journey. Yes, I’ve been stalking the blog.