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how to be a better parent

Whatever your parenting style, raising kids is a life altering, chaotic experience. Many parents wonder if they’re doing it right, and whether they are teaching by example. These TED talks describe the experiences of different parents and impart little pieces of wisdom, from teaching empowerment and bravery to making lasting memories. Start watching and get inspired!

1.  How Movies Teach Manhood by Colin Stokes

This TED talk will have you taking a closer look at kids’ viewing habits, and maybe push you to find new role models for your kids, knowing that any gender can be inspired by a strong woman or a smart man. Examples of good movies, in my opinion? Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Charlotte’s Web are both films where violence does not win the day but science and kindness triumph.

2.  Love, No Matter What by Andrew Solomon

An eye-opening talk about the unconditional love parents have for their children, how parents cope with their different, special children, and about letting your child find their community outside of the home so they can accept their own identity.

A great way to learn about how to view those born with differences, and how love and acceptance do not always go hand in hand, but grow with time.

3.  In Our Baby’s Illness, A Life Lesson by Roberto D’Angelo and Francesca Fedeli

This couple thought their baby was born healthy, until ten days later they found out he had experienced a prenatal stroke. In a moving talk, they show how they changed their lives to help Mario make progress, but also how they realize that living by example to show him how to be happy is far more important than trying to “fix” him.

As Roberto says: “We stopped looking at him as a problem, and we started looking at him as an opportunity to improve.”

Another talk about acceptance, living a life that inspires your child, and loving them unconditionally.

4.  Let’s Talk Parenting Taboos by Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman

From the creators of Babble, a website where real parents share real insights into their lives, comes this humorous look at parenting from a tag-team that works, lives, and plays together. Raising three boys, they talk about the realities of parenting and the social taboos that surround having kids and raising them. This TED talk is real, frank, and lets you know that you aren’t alone as a parent – there are others out there having the same experiences. And no one is perfect.

5.  A Father-Daughter Bond, One Photo At A Time by Steve Addis

This is a relatively short TED talk, Steve Addis starts a tradition with his daughter where they take a photo together in the same spot, in the same city, once a year. Not only can you see the differences a year makes to the pair, but it also encourages you to consciously make memories, and not just mindlessly stand behind (or in front) of the camera and take snapshots. Live in the moment with your kids, and make memories with them that are tangible.

6.  How To Raise Successful Kids by Julie Lythcott-Haims

This is a TED talk aimed not to subtly at helicopter parents, whom Julie believes have the best intentions, but aren’t having a positive effect on their children.

The more we focus on grades, accolades, scores, and wins, says Julie, the more kids believe that their self-worth is wrapped around these things.

She wants us to widen the definition of success for our kids, so we provide a foundation for them that is built on love (and hard work), and not just gold medals or first place trophies.

7.  The Council Of Dads by Bruce Feiler

When Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with cancer, he was worried that he wouldn’t be there to give advice and insight to his daughters as they grew up. So he found a group of close friends and asked them to be stand-ins for him.

This talk makes you think about what you want your kids to learn about life, and the important things you should focus on as a family.

8.  Agile Programming – For Your Family by Bruce Feiler

Inspired by agile software programming, one of the biggest takeaways from this TED talk is the suggestion that you should empower your kids to so they succeed on their own terms, and fail on their own terms too. This means letting them create their own rewards and punishments, and letting them be a part of larger family discussions.

9.  Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection by Reshma Saujani

As women, we are taught to strive for perfection, so we are overly cautious, happier to show no progress or give no feedback, lest we be wrong. Saujani wants us to teach our girls that it’s okay to fail, and take big risks, and learn from mistakes. Because even if we are making mistakes, we’re still working, and we’re learning as we go.

10.  Bring On The Female Superheroes by Christopher Bell

Bell wants us to teach our kids that it’s okay to be inspired by female superheroes, regardless of their gender, because every child can learn from the fierce, independent women on the scream. He wants to remove the gender of toys and just focus on letting our kids be kids – sound advice if you ask me.

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