I Was Taught Wrong

As a nine year old I was taught wrong;

I learned I must be seen as strong.

I looked in the casket seeing him without a soul

My grandmother told me “Do not cry, stay in control.”

It does not matter if my sun has gone out

Or if I cannot cast out my self-doubt.

I mustn’t let them see a tear,

Yet I must seem oh so sheer.

Nearly eight years later I still abide by this rule.

As an eleven year old I was taught wrong;

From my class I was forced to withdraw

Because the teacher thought my blouse was too low.

I didn’t know what I did yet I felt like a hoe.

From that day on I saw girls had duties

To cover up even if they’re too young to have boobies.

I’ve occasionally not followed this rule

Which makes me the victim of cruel ridicule.

To think the rights of my body continue to be stolen.

As a thirteen year old I was taught wrong;

That grades are more important than my need to belong.

One too many times I’ve considered selling my soul

Because the value seen in kids on honor roll.

I’ve stressed over turning an eighty-four into an eighty-five

Far too many times although it’s never made anyone feel more alive.

I’ve heard of kids taking pills for good grades

While others pull the pin on their grenade.

When did letters start to mean more than lives?

We continue to instill these distorted values

Some in hopes of higher revenues,

Others to create strong men and women,

But it’s done by ensuring if they don’t conform they won’t be forgiven.

Children should be taught to appreciate the stars,

Not to fear being shamed or beaten for a D on any report cards.

Instead of teaching kids to be ashamed why don’t we teach them to love themselves?

– Rebecca Anderson


2 thoughts on “I Was Taught Wrong

  1. These thoughts have crossed my mind multiple times… often actually… but I don’t think I could have ever put it in writing this beautifully. Not only is it a well worded poem, but it also has a strong message that I one hundred percent agree with. People today should focus more on raising children as individuals with different dreams and ideas instead of trying to make them conform into “perfect” children.


  2. Thank you so much April, I’m glad you liked my poem. I’m considering posting more soon with similar themes, and in all honesty I feel like too many people try to raise other people’s kids to meet their standards as well. The part where I was 11 the teacher actually sent me to the office and they didn’t think my outfit was inappropriate, yet someone I as a four foot three child was distracting boys in her opinion. The standards held for children by people of all ages are sometimes ridiculous and oftentimes unnecessary as I’ve noticed.


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