5 TED Talks for Parents

For parents, happiness is a very high bar

Jennifer Senior • TED2014 • March 2014

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, Senior offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

“How I Teach Kids to Love Science,” by Cesar Harada

Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to students ages 6–15 at Hong Kong Harbour School. He takes a very hands-on approach not only to teach principles of science but also to open the eyes of the children to the problems that exist in today’s world and discuss how students can help solve them. This great video shows kids that their imaginations are vital to our planet and our well-being and that their ideas should always be respected and encouraged.



By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren't actually helping. At least, that's how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.


Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven't always grasped the basics? Yes, it's complicated, but educator Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace.


When one of Liz Kleinrock's fourth-grade students said the unthinkable at the start of a class on race, she knew it was far too important a teachable moment to miss. But where to start? Learn how Kleinrock teaches kids to discuss taboo topics without fear -- because the best way to start solving social problems is to talk about them.

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