Is making mistakes okay?
None of us like making mistakes but of course we all do.
We don’t actually ‘make’ mistakes. It’s not a craft. Mistakes happen.
Not experiencing mistakes would make you perfect and no one on the planet is that.
But there are millions of perfectionists who hate it when they make a mistake. Perfectionists can’t even admit to something not working out and hate it if someone draws attention to their blunders. This isn’t healthy and can get in the way of mental wellbeing.
But how do we normalise mistake-making and help children realise that it’s all part of who we are?
Many children grow up in a world that puts pressure on them to be perfect. They feel the pressure of having to do well in their SATs, tests and exams. They feel the pressure to be the best on the pitch and they feel the pressure to be a doctor or human rights lawyer because that’s what their parents want.
For some children, the pressure to be brilliant and outstanding is constant and this leads to some pretty big falls in life.
Of course we should all embrace making mistakes in a school environment. Classrooms that do are the best learning environments going. They “cultivate a growth mindset culture where mistake-making isn’t frowned upon but welcomed.”
It matters that we share our experiences of mistakes because children need to appreciate that happy accidents and learning curves are perfectly okay and that it is fine to say “I can’t do it….yet!”
There’s a great book worth sharing with younger readers that certainly helps put things in perspective and it’s called The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by
This book is a joy because it focuses on developing a healthy growth mindset.
So who is it about?
This is the story of a young girl called Beatrice Bottomwell who we are told has never made a mistake, not even once!
We are told that she never forgets her maths homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she always wins the yearly talent show at school. She is so perfect, the town he lives in calls her The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes!
But guess what? Yep, one day the inevitable happens and Beatrice makes a huge mistake and in front of everyone too!
I won’t spoil it by telling you anything else as you will have to see for yourselves!
The books reviews for this title have quite rightly been extremely positive.
Jennifer Fosberry, bestselling author of My Name Is Not Isabella says,
Beatrice’s discovery that you can laugh off even a very public mistake shows the importance of resiliency and helps perfectionist kids keep things in perspective. Most importantly, Beatrice reminds the reader that it’s more important to enjoy the things that you do than worry about doing them perfectly.
This growth mindset book is ripe for discussion with lessons galore to share and mine together. Ultimately, this book teaches children that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes and that sometimes these can actually be fun.
I think Bob Ross get’s it right with his relaxed attitude to things not working out…..