Several mothers have mentioned to me how much they loved Andrea Beaty's Rosie Revere, Engineer. Clare and I just read it and it is my new favorite book. It certainly is a great book for encouraging girls in math and science...but it is so much more. In charming rhyme, the book teaches that our mistakes are part of our successes. When little engineer Rosie is embarrassed by one of her failed inventions, her Great-Great Aunt Rose (or Rosie the Riveter) teaches her to no longer hide her inventions in the attic, but to be proud of her flops. "You did it! Hooray! It's the perfect first try! This great flop is over. It's time for the next!" (Okay, so the rhyme isn't evident from this quote, but in context, it is actually part of that charming rhyme I mentioned.) What a great lesson for my little perfectionists.
With the girls back in school, I find myself explaining to them that they didn't misbehave by making an incorrect guess about which words begin with the letter "a." "You tried," I tell them, "And I'm proud of you for trying." Meg never wants to let her teachers down. With us, she often resists working on reading or other skills because she's afraid she won't be able to do it. Clare writes her letters beautifully for a four-year-old, but when she makes one backwards, she begins to cry because she has ruined the paper. Such little perfectionists. Unfortunately, they have a lot of failure to look forward to--just as we all do. Might as well embrace it as just a step along the way to success. So glad we have Rosie Revere, Engineer to help us learn that lesson.