At a recent meeting of my daughters’ Girl Scout troop, one of the moms read a book to the kids. As soon as she finished reading, I immediately opened Amazon and ordered the book for myself. It’s that cool!
The book is called “Raise Your Hand” and it is written by sixth-grader Alice Paul Tapper.
In it, Alice writes about how she and her friends “noticed that the boys were raising their hands more than the girls” in class. “I want to raise my hand, but sometimes it’s too scary,” confesses one of Alice’s friends. “If I don’t get the answer right, people might laugh at me.”
But eventually Alice and her friends learn to be brave and raise their hands more often, because even if “the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world.”
As Alice wrote in a New York Times column: “People say girls have to be 90 percent confident before we raise our hands, but boys just raise their hands. I tell girls that we should take the risk and try anyway, just like the boys do. If the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like answering a trivia question to win a million dollars on live TV.”
Research backs this up. Between ages 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels drop by 30 percent. (I recently wrote more about this in The Wenatchee World.)
All the proceeds from the book sales go to the Girl Scouts. You can find the book — plus printable resources for parents — on the Girl Scouts website here, and of course it’s on Amazon. I think it would make a wonderful present from any parent or grandparent of girls.
So share the book with your daughter, then start a conversation: It’s OK to be wrong. Just keep raising your hand!