Belief in luck and superstition has been a part of every different culture, the world over. But can belief in luck or superstition be something we should encourage in our children? 

In my story, Layla’s Luck, Layla is a ladybug who is a great believer in all things lucky. She is always keen to attribute her ‘lucky’ objects to her every success and achievement, but she doesn’t consider claiming any of the credit for herself. When there is a ‘Cake Bake’ in the garden and she doesn’t know how to bake a cake, she believes there is only one thing to do: rely on her luck! Without a recipe or weighing her ingredients, the resulting cake is one big disaster! Layla’s belief in luck has meant that she didn’t take any responsibility for the results of her actions either good or bad. When things went well, she gave praise to her luck rather than her hard work and effort; and when things went badly, she regarded her luck to have ‘run out’ and didn’t realize that her lack of practice or research had led her to a failure.

Studies have shown that girls, in particular, are less likely to attribute their successes to personal effort compared to boys, suggesting things like, ‘it was just down to a lucky break’ or ‘luck was on my side that time’.  Studies show how boys tend to enjoy their successes more and outwardly, and take pride in their personal achievements much more. The reasons for this difference in behavior is uncertain.  Whatever the reason, it is important to recognize this as a parent and allow kids to grow up being able to recognize their own smarts with confidence, and to understand if their efforts led to a success. It’s great to show how hard work and practice pay off.

Having a balanced approach to luck and superstition is probably the best way to be. 

  • Being open minded to a positive outcome is a great attitude to encourage in our children. 
  • Hard work and effort should always be commended and applauded no matter what the outcome. 
  • We should foster the mindset that the journey is of as much importance as the destination. Even when we fail at something, we learn important lessons in the process that can lead to success in the future.
  • Help kids manage disappointment by talking about how some factors will always be out of our control and will sometimes cause situations to turn out badly, but hard work and effort help people control the factors they can. 

However, research also shows how superstition and using a ‘lucky’ object can often lead to a better performance, especially in sport. This is because it is said to boost confidence and calm anxiety. So, maybe wearing that lucky pair of socks for the football finals could be a good call after all! Just be sure to practice too, and don’t take the socks too seriously!

Layla’s Luck is part of the Once Upon a Garden series.


Blackwell, Liam. (n.d.). The Power of Superstitions and Rituals in Sports. Believe Perform. Retrieved from

GL Assessment. (2019). Girls more inclined to doubt intelligence than boys, study finds. Retrieved from

by Jo Rooks

This Article's Author

Jo Rooks is an award-winning author-illustrator who studied graphic design and illustration at Bath School of Art and Design. She illustrated several award-winning books, including A Box of Butterflies and Hector's Favorite Place. Visit her at Jo Rooks Illustration and Follow her on Facebook: @JoRooksIllustration, Twitter: @JoRooksArt, and Instagram: @JoRooksIllustration.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • Layla’s Luck

    Jo Rooks

    Layla is a ladybug with a lucky charm for every occasion: lucky socks for running, a lucky pencil for tests, and a lucky watering can for her flowers. When Layla enters a baking event, she is counting on her good luck to help her bake a delicious cake. But is luck the only ingredient that matters?

    A clever tale of a ladybug who learns that success comes from her own smarts, skill, and hard work — not lucky charms and chance.