If you’ve never seen (or heard) a TED Talk before, you are seriously missing out. TED is a nonprofit organization that is completely dedicated to the spreading of ideas. Their talks, which are almost always available on Youtube, cover everything from the science of happiness, to reasons you should talk to strangers, to certain things all parents know but are afraid to speak on.
TED talks provide such an interesting platform for people to share their own thoughts, ideas, and research about parenting specifically. Often times filled with humor and a realness that is hard to find, these highly educated mini-lectures create a space where parenthood, with all of its wonders and pitfalls, can be openly discussed in a non-judgemental and high productive way.
Listed below are five different TED talks that I have found particularly engaging. They cover five different topics and encourage many different methods but what binds them all together is the eternal quest that every parent finds themselves on. The one that leads to maintaining happy, healthy, productive families.
1. How To Raise Successful Kids Without Over-Parenting
Julie Lythcott-Haims starts off this TED talk by stating the fact that she isn’t very interested in “parenting.” This fascinating statement is followed with her displeasure in the “checklisted childhood.” In less than 15 minutes, she discusses the art of letting go just a little bit as parents. She challenges what we view as success for our children and encourages all parents to examine our goals and expectations for our kids for the sake of their own happiness and sense of self.
2. It’s Time To Explode 4 Taboos Of Parenting
If you’re a parent who spends a lot of their time online (read: just like the rest of us), you probably owe Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman a tons of thank you’s. In addition to being the parents of three boys, the husband and wife duo are also the creators of Babble. In this very funny and almost too truthful TED talk, the two discuss four very important parenting taboos. Ranging from the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time to miscarriages. Along with some very informational infographics and hilarious family photos, this talk may make you questions the so-called social niceties that revolve around the realities of parenting.
3. 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Should Do
As a parent, a lot of your time revolves around fearing for your child. Whether that is an abstract fear that your child won’t be successful or more tangible fears like your child licking a 9-volt battery. This TED talk challenges the sometimes mythic and often unsubstantiated fears that parents have that keep our children from experiencing things that are ultimately harmless.
4. How To Get Your Kids To Listen and Engage
In this 10 minute TED talk, Kris Prochaska challenges the way we view and speak to our children. She challenges us to view our children as equals. Equals who are in need of a lot of guidance, sure, but equals nonetheless. Her talk posits that the secret to raising children who listen and engage well, is to change how we view the role that we as parents ultimately play in their lives.
5. Agile Programming For Your Family
Bruce Feiler has used his TED talks to propose a solution for all of the super busy, super stressed out families out there. Using the example of agile programming, he relays a story of the ways the lives of his family and others have been changed by this simplistic but genius process. He proposes that with short, weekly family meetings and the effectiveness of a checkmark, any family can improve the way the work and live together.