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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

Who’s the Smartest of them all?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Our Kids can be our Best Teachers

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


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.

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.

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.


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.

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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.

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

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