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Who’s the Smartest of them all?

Our Kids can be our Best Teachers

By Dave Veale

Back in 2012, I wrote about the lessons I learned from my son as he graduated kindergarten (check it out). Three years later, I reflected on the same topic when my eldest daughter finished kindergarten (check it out too). I’m reminded of how much we learn from our children as my son Publicity_Group_Of_12_1280x720finished an incredible – and very public – journey that he embarked on last summer.

It all started when he saw an ad on TV asking kids if they thought they were Canada’s Smartest Person (Junior) – the kid’s version of the popular Canadian TV show was recruiting and Liam wanted to apply. He was keen. He was also very determined to go through the application process (6 different interviews) on his own. Needless to say, he made it through all the hurdles and was chosen to appear on the show.

[Tweet “My son was determined to go through the application process (6 different interviews) on his own.- Dave Veale”]

In late December we finished watching all six episodes, along with all of Canada cheering on Liam (known in show as ‘Liam V.’) and his fellow contestants as they took on fun challenges that test their smarts in six categories: Physical, Musical, Social, Linguistic, Logical and Visual.

The show reminded the audience that intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes — and doesn’t necessarily mean just having straight A’s in school.

An important reminder which had me thinking of….
3 Lessons Learned from Liam V and his fellow competitors.

1. Serious growth can happen when you move out of your comfort zone.
Prior to the show, Liam would describe himself as shy. Being thrust into a national spotlight forced him to open up express himself more fully. It was incredible to see the transformation that occurred for Liam while filming the show. What a fabulous reminder to put yourself out there…and then watch the magic.

[Tweet “Put yourself out there…and then watch the magic – Dave Veale”]

2. Watching for – and celebrating – the brilliance of those around us.
A surprising twist for the producers, and everyone watching the show, was the relationships that developed between all the contestants. L_to_R_Paul_Sandra_Liam_V_taking_a_look_at_the_Factory_Fiasco_challenge_ft_img_ep_3They’ve formed bonds that will last a lifetime. Through their shared journey on the show, while competing against each other, there were many example of how the kids chose to supported each other rather than create an adversarial ‘win-lose’ environment. They actually chose to lift each other up and celebrate one another! What an incredible lesson about choosing to be inspired by the incredible people around us.

[Tweet “The young contestants actually chose to lift each other up and celebrate one another! – Dave Veale”]

3. Building resilience
I really don’t know how I would have responded when I was twelve, competing publicly against eleven other kids, knowing only one competitor will ultimately win and doing it in front of your whole country with all the ups and downs that accompany the emotional roller coaster of knowing that you can be eliminated from the show at any moment. If that doesn’t build resilience, I don’t know what will.

maxresdefault (1)So, as his Dad, what do I feel was the smartest thing Liam did last summer? He stepped up, accepted a challenge and tested himself.

Do any of these lessons resonate with you? If so, which one?

How would you incorporate this lesson into your life?

As I look over the things I’ve learned from my children last year, it’s clear to me where my biggest opportunity is…to always be on the lookout for ways to continue to grow and develop!

Liam and his fellow contestants also taught me about how to win – and lose – gracefully.

[Tweet “Be on the lookout for ways to continue to grow and develop! – Dave Veale”]

PS: Expect one more reflection about a kindergarten grad when my youngest daughter meets that milestone in 2021!

 

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