Illustration – Sandbox Studio 

Both new and experienced parents will agree that parenting is an equally challenging and rewarding experience. Every child is different and so is every parent and his/her style of parenting. Whether it is combatting preconceived notions or braving unconventional approaches, parents across the globe feel the need to both traverse this journey independently and balance it with time-affirmed experiences. Helping you achieve this balance are some of the best TED Talks on parenting. Covering a range of interesting topics, these Ted Talks will help all—a new parent, a seasoned pro, and a curious learner. What’s more fun, some of these are orated by bright children!

1. Why Parents Should Listen to Kids

Held at TEDxYouth@Xujiahui, this talk was given by Anyue Sun, where she shares her opinion about why parents should listen to their kids. Beginning with a couple of interesting stories, Ms. Sun sets the stage for an important lesson on Executive Function—a critical concept in child psychology that helps kids achieve their goals by planning and executing by themselves. Digging deeper in the topic, she explains the need for children to learn from their own failures rather than simply listening and accepting to what their parents say.

Have you heard of Snowplough parents? Allow Ms. Sun to enlighten you about this intriguing concept, which may sound more close to home than you would imagine. Wrapping up the talk, Ms. Sun delivers a power-packed solution—parents, please discuss your suggestions with children and actively listen to their opinions. Please trust your children.

2. 5 parenting Tips for Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant Kids

In this talk, entrepreneur and mom to 3 teenage boys, Tameka Montgomery, talks about raising a child such that he/she finds comfort outside the comfort zone. Parents strive to curate a perfect life for their children; however, at the damaging cost of protecting them from failures and shielding them from the world. Adulting may be an oft-heard term for us all. However, layered behind the term is a generation of individuals who are only stuck in adolescence, scared to launch into adulthood. She puts forth the need to instil and nurture an entrepreneurial mindset in children that will prepare them for life. Her unconventional, yet hard-hitting tips include, not paying an allowance to children, making them pay for their wants, reducing their prosperity, allowing them to be directed by delight, and letting them solve their own problems.

A fascinating take on parenting, we say!

3. How Every Child Can Thrive By Five

Molly Wright was all of seven when she delivered the celebrated Ted Talk—how every child can thrive by five. To begin with, viewers are greeted with the soft cooing of baby Ari on stage. By introducing Ari, Ms. Wright sets the tone for learning about the fundamentals of growing and development of an infant. Describing how connecting, talking, playing, living in a healthy home and a happy community can help a baby’s brain develop to its full potential, she urges grownups to contribute to their lives in a fulfilling manner. Quality time with infants, playing with them, talking and playing name games engages infants and promotes instant learning. When this same connect is broken by digital devices, sadness and neglect fill the tender minds of infants and instantly stun their development.

On her parting note, Ms. Wright says, “every moment together is an opportunity to connect, talk and play. For us, the children, it is so much more than a game; it’s our future.”

4. Why Most Parenting Advice Is Wrong

This insightful talk by Developmental psychologist Yuko Munakata talks about the conflicting ideas preached in parenting books. Should you be the free-range parent, raising happy children, or the tiger parent, raising strong self-reliant children? For no matter the choice you make, if your child isn’t succeeding, the parents are going to be blamed. However, each child is different. Parenting differs between siblings and twins—if one child finds the guidance in structure provided by her mother, her sister might find it stifling.

Same or similar parenting can result in different outcomes, just the way one experience can leave different impacts on individuals. Sure, parents matter, but they cannot be blamed or need not take blame for who their children become. Lastly, appreciate the moment with your child for what it is, not for what it will be, because we don’t know.

5. The Beautiful, Hard Work of Co-Parenting

Performer, author and storyteller Joel Leon offers rib-tickling insight into co-parenting in this refreshing Ted talk. We know of a “baby daddy”, essentially an individual who helps in conceiving the child, but does little else. We have heard of co-parenting, but only recently. For the longest time and in most childhoods across the globe, fathers have been either absent or barely present. In an ideal world, however, every parent is a co-parent. Both parents share the weight of work appropriately. The stereotype of a mother’s role being restricted to domestic chores and a father helplessly fumbling around the home on his turn to look after the children needs immediate shattering.

This outdated approach forces the individual who takes up domestic chores to sacrifice their dreams and pursuits. However, this can be completely avoided with co-parenting, with both individuals showing up as allies, rather than self-absorbed individuals.