Have you ever watched Master Chef Jr? It is a Fox TV series where kids ages 7-13 compete against one another to win $100,000 and the prestigious title of Master Chef Jr. During each episode they are given two cooking challenges and are judged on the appearance, creativity, and taste of their dish by culinary experts Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and Joe Bastianich. The show is currently at the end of its 6th season and as I watch every episode, I am continually impressed by the leadership skills it takes for these kids to be a part of a show like this at such a young age.
Before seeing an episode of this show, if someone were to ask me, “Can you cook?” I would have likely said with confidence, “Yes!” Now, I think my response would be, “Depends on who you are comparing me to”. These 7-13 year olds can use every kitchen tool from hot and flaming pans, torches, and ovens, as well as chop vegetables at the same speed as an adult pro. They even know how to use blenders, hand mixers and pasta machines to create the perfect dish. Who knows how to make their own pasta? Apparently all of these kids do.
Watching these incredible kids got me thinking. It made me start comparing these 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds to the ones I know. Eeeeek. Reality moment. The 7 year old that I know complains when she has to make her own cereal or pour her own milk for breakfast. The 8 year old somehow manages to get nutella everywhere except the bread when making a sandwich and the 9 and 10 year old are just starting to use baby knives to cut their food during meals. Most of the time, their parents do it for them. So the question then becomes, how is it that these children on this television show are so much further advanced than the everyday kid you or I meet?
My theory is that it is largely due to the adult influences that surround these children. The kids weren’t born knowing how to use all these appliances, they had to learn, just like reading, writing and arithmetic. The adults in their lives are teaching, equipping and empowering these kids to do what most believe they aren’t capable of doing. Rather than being fearful that the kids might hurt themselves, the adults have turned their curiosity into an opportunity for learning. Now these kids are thriving in the kitchen and I’m sure their parents don’t mind not having to cook a few meals.
Now I am not saying that everyone's child is capable of being a Master Chef, I am simply encouraging you to not limit their curiosities to society's norms. Take a moment this week and explore what your kids or kids you know are curious about. How can you be a leader in their lives and help mentor them by training, equipping and empowering them to explore their areas of interest? If you need help learning how to empower others in your life, whether it is a kid or an adult, Lets Chat. I want to help you be a leader that leads by empowering others.
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