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The Know-It-All

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When I was in a charter school from 2nd to 8th grade I learned from my peers that no one wanted to know or learn anything that the teachers didn’t make them learn already. I’ve always been an inquisitive child, always asking questions, simply wanting to understand how things worked. In this my parents were delighted to answer my questions, but this was not the case for other children even to this day.
As I tried, repeatedly, to share the things I knew I was ridiculed by my classmates, yelled at by all the kids for being a “know-it-all”. “No one wants to hear it,” they would say, “No one cares, but you, Know-it-all!” and I never had a reply to it, but to cry or apologize and walk away. One time I even had food thrown in my face when I began to explain the answer to why grass is green and the sky is blue; this was in the 7th grade. Eventually I learned to ask, “Do you really want an answer or…?” and leave the sentence hanging when someone asked a question to avoid that pain of being faced with rolling eyes or derisive “really?”’s.

I finally discovered the reason kids, and teenagers, do this. Depending on the parent there are two different scenarios that take place and cause a child to act this way to others:

1.
If a child asks a question of a parent then the parent may respond politely and expect that to be the end of it, but the child might continue with that ever-irritating “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” et cetera. This causes the parent to become, understandably, irritated and the more the child does it the more likely the parent will expect any question to be followed by this. As a result, they often simply try to stop their child from asking questions altogether, so their child begins to think those questions are bad or unimportant.

2.
Some parents do not know the answer to everything *dramatic gasp*, unfortunately some simply can’t admit that. Thus, when their child asks them a question it makes them uncomfortable and insecure so they take it out on their child by telling them to be quiet, not to ask questions, or ignoring them completely.

These children, when faced with someone who is suddenly answering questions, they respond in the only way they’ve been taught how: with bullying that person until they’ve solved the perceived problem by silencing them.

I go to a wonderful school now where my knowledge is appreciated. However, even here I see those kids who teased me struggling because they’ve lost their ability to question, to be inquisitive about anything and everything. Now, I try to help those kids ask more questions, to teach themselves what they want to learn.





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