10 must-watch TED talks to inspire your parenting

Posted in Family.

Need some parenting inspiration? Here are the best parenting TED talkers with words to keep us going.

TED talks are known for inspiring new, wonderful ideas in our careers, productivity and understanding of science.

And they can also inspire our parenting. Here are 10 to get you thinking:

1. A new way to think about the transition to motherhood

There are times of life (like adolescence) when we show understanding about the changes a person is going through, but Alexandra Sacks argues that we don’t extend the same empathy to a woman who is transitioning to motherhood.

She talks about the discomfort of becoming a mother, and how we can understand our new identity.

2. What we learn before we’re born

Think that learning begins from birth? Well, Annie Murphy Paul is here to set the record straight: we start to learn from inside the womb. Babies learn a whole range of things about the world they’re about to be born into: sounds, tastes, smells and more. It’s fascinating to learn how a baby’s in utero learning affects their entire life.

3. For parents, happiness is a very high bar

As Jennifer Senior puts it, parenting has become a role associated with anxiety, panic and confusion. We feel like the things our parents and grandparents did just aren’t good enough anymore; that we should do more.

She talks about modern parenting, the challenge of aiming to have happy children, the burden that puts upon us, and ideas for an alternative.

4. What we don’t know about mothers’ milk

When Katie Hinde shares the science behind breast milk, she also acknowledges the lack of knowledge we have of this natural process. In fact, we know more about tomatoes and coffee.

Part intriguing and part call-to-arms, this talk highlights the importance of breastfeeding on a global scale.

5. Teach girls bravery, not perfection

Reshma Saujani starts her TED talk by admitting to her huge, very public “failure”.

So many of us know the terror of being a perfectionist, and many of our children (particularly girls) are growing up with the same feeling. “We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave,” Saujani says.

She inspires parents of girls to encourage their kids to try new things, whether they’re going to get it right or not.

6. It’s time for ‘The Talk’

Every one of us can relate to being asked awkward questions before we feel ready to answer them. (Then again, can we ever really be ready to talk about … you know … the birds and the bees?)

Comedian Julia Sweeney gives us some light relief and a sense of being part of a community of parents who have no idea what to say when our kids ask the most embarrassing of all questions.

7. Raising rebels

In parenting, it’s hard to know what we’re aiming towards. Dr Justin Coulson has an answer for that: he believes that we should aim to raise kids who are rebellious.

That might not sound like what you usually hear, but he says it’s all about having kids who can think for themselves, turn life in their own direction and stand up for what they believe in. If you’re keen to raise a strong, free-thinking human, this is a great watch.

8. What adults can learn from kids

Adora Svitak is one incredible 12-year-old. She points out that, while kids learn a lot from adults, us adults could learn a thing or two from the children of the world.

“Adults … you need to listen and learn from kids and trust us and expect more from us,” she says.

This advocate for children’s voices makes us rethink the way we dismiss and even insult children, urging us to be more open to the ideas of the young ones in our lives. She makes us want to stop and ask for our children’s opinions and ideas.

9. Three fears about screen time for kids – and why they’re not true

If there’s one big worry that most parents have now, it’s screen time. Despite the fact that adults check their phones 50 times each day, we so often believe that our kids shouldn’t be using screens. This talk from Sara DeWitt will put your mind at ease, as she discusses balance instead of extreme fear tactics.

10. What I’ve learned about parenting as a stay-at-home dad

Glen Henry thought being a stay-at-home dad would be “boring” and “easy”. It wasn’t long before the truth dawned on him: children are just as demanding as a manager in an out of the home job. He shares how he came to realise that he knew nothing about stay-at-home parenting, and learnt a lot from that realisation.

In fact, he believes that parenthood is all about learning.


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