For the uninitiated, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and their slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading” says it all. I have been hooked to it ever since hubby introduced it to me a few years back. Now, it is my favorite bedtime routine instead of books. I mostly watch talks from the parenting and health sections of TED. Here I am listing my all time favorite Top 10 TED Talks on various parenting topics. (After a day of hard work trying to keep up with a three-year-old, it’s nice to watch some expert advice on the same…..in the hopes that maybe I am not doing everything wrong!).
So without further delay, here’s my effort at spreading some fascinating ideas focused on parenting (not in any particular order). Please check these insightful and heartfelt talks out:
In this talk, Babble.com publishers Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, in a lively tag-team, expose 4 facts that parents never, ever admit — and why they should. Funny and honest, for parents and nonparents alike. This is one talk which every parent-to-be should watch as I mentioned in my previous blog Parent Diaries.
The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it’s “a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic,” as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims. This is one talk which sanctions a few shortcuts (to our collective relief) that we, as parents, have to take on a regular basis just to ensure our sanity.
This is a perceptive talk which gives us a peek into our children’s psyches and thought processes during infanthood. “Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species,” says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.
Gever Tulley, the founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do — and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups. This talk reminds us of our childhood when times were simpler and a few “dangerous” experiments were just fine when it came to learning by doing.
In this talk, Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneer in research on play, says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.
Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, West Virginia — and a shocking image of the sugar we eat — TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food. At a time when childhood obesity (almost unheard of when we were children) has become so rampant, this talk forces us to take a hard look at our food choices, especially on our children’s plates.
In this talk, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings of how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and “taking statistics” on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.
What is it like to raise a child who’s different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents — asking them: What’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?
A long time ago in New York City, Steve Addis stood on a corner holding his 1-year-old daughter in his arms; his wife snapped a photo. The image has inspired an annual father-daughter ritual, where Addis and his daughter pose for the same picture, on the same corner, each year. Addis shares 15 treasured photographs from the series and explores why this small, repeated ritual means so much.
About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, “Am I ugly?” Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence—from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. And then shares the key things all of us can do to disrupt this reality.
Which talk resonates with you the most? Don’t forget to write your views in the comments section below.
PS: If you enjoyed this roundup post, please share it on your favorite social media channels and spread these ultimate TED Parenting Gems with your followers too.
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