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TED Talks Kids and Family

Fun videos to inspire, intrigue and stir your imagination from some of the world's leading thinkers and doers onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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How changing your story can change your life | Lori Gottlieb

Stories help you make sense of your life -- but when these narratives are incomplete or misleading, they can keep you stuck instead of providing clarity. In an actionable talk, psychotherapist and advice columnist Lori Gottlieb shows how to break free from the stories you've been telling yourself by becoming your own editor and rewriting your narrative from a different point of view.

16mins

1 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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How to raise successful kids -- without over-parenting | Julie Lythcott-Haims

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.

14mins

13 Sep 2016

Rank #2

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3 fears about screen time for kids -- and why they're not true | Sara DeWitt

We check our phones upwards of 50 times per day -- but when our kids play around with them, we get nervous. Are screens ruining childhood? Not according to children's media expert Sara DeWitt. In a talk that may make you feel a bit less guilty about handing a tablet to a child while you make dinner, DeWitt envisions a future where we're excited to see kids interacting with screens and shows us exciting ways new technologies can actually help them grow, connect and learn.

11mins

12 Oct 2017

Rank #3

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For parents, happiness is a very high bar | Jennifer Senior

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.

18mins

15 Apr 2014

Rank #4

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The nightmare videos of children's YouTube -- and what's wrong with the internet today | James Bridle

Writer and artist James Bridle uncovers a dark, strange corner of the internet, where unknown people or groups on YouTube hack the brains of young children in return for advertising revenue. From "surprise egg" reveals and the "Finger Family Song" to algorithmically created mashups of familiar cartoon characters in violent situations, these videos exploit and terrify young minds -- and they tell us something about where our increasingly data-driven world is headed. "We need to stop thinking about technology as a solution to all of our problems, but think of it as a guide to what those problems actually are, so we can start thinking about them properly and start to address them," Bridle says.

16mins

22 Jun 2018

Rank #5

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To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful | Shane Koyczan

By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and ... different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.

12mins

8 Mar 2013

Rank #6

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Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model. | Cameron Russell

Cameron Russell admits she won "a genetic lottery": she's tall, pretty and an underwear model. But don't judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16 years old.

9mins

16 Jan 2013

Rank #7

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The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain | Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically "teenage" behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

14mins

17 Sep 2012

Rank #8

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The beautiful, hard work of co-parenting | Joel Leon

"Co-parenting" isn't a buzzword -- it's a way of showing up for your family openly, consistently and lovingly, says storyteller and father Joel Leon. In this moving talk, he challenges all parents to play an equal, active role in their children's daily lives, even in a world that often places the weight of sacrifice on mothers alone. Leon encourages nuanced conversations about parenting and reminds us that being a parent isn't a responsibility -- it's an opportunity.

9mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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How does income affect childhood brain development? | Kimberly Noble

Neuroscientist and pediatrician Kimberly Noble is leading the Baby's First Years study: the first-ever randomized study of how family income changes children's cognitive, emotional and brain development. She and a team of economists and policy experts are working together to find out: Can we help kids in poverty simply by giving families more money? "The brain is not destiny," Noble says. "And if a child's brain can be changed, then anything is possible."

11mins

2 Apr 2019

Rank #10

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The surprisingly logical minds of babies | Laura Schulz

How do babies learn so much from so little so quickly? In a fun, experiment-filled talk, cognitive scientist Laura Schulz shows how our young ones make decisions with a surprisingly strong sense of logic, well before they can talk.

20mins

2 Jun 2015

Rank #11

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The case for having kids | Wajahat Ali

The global fertility rate, or the number of children per woman, has halved over the last 50 years. What will having fewer babies mean for the future of humanity? In this funny, eye-opening talk, journalist (and self-described exhausted dad) Wajahat Ali examines how the current trend could lead to unexpected problems -- and shares why he believes we need to make it easier for people to have babies. "For those who can and choose to, may you pass on this beautiful thing called life with kindness, generosity, decency and love," he says.

13mins

9 May 2019

Rank #12

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Agile programming -- for your family | Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler has a radical idea: To deal with the stress of modern family life, go agile. Inspired by agile software programming, Feiler introduces family practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. One surprising feature: Kids pick their own punishments.

18mins

25 Feb 2013

Rank #13

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How risk-taking changes a teenager's brain | Kashfia Rahman

Why do teenagers sometimes make outrageous, risky choices? Do they suddenly become reckless, or are they just going through a natural phase? To find out, Kashfia Rahman -- winner of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (and a Harvard freshman) -- designed and conducted an experiment to test how high school students respond to and get used to risk, and how it changes their still-developing brains. What she discovered about risk and decision-making could change how we think about why teens do what they do.

11mins

11 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen | Takaharu Tezuka

At this school in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world's cutest kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids.

9mins

14 Apr 2015

Rank #15

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A new way to think about the transition to motherhood | Alexandra Sacks

When a baby is born, so is a mother -- but the natural (and sometimes unsteady) process of transition to motherhood is often silenced by shame or misdiagnosed as postpartum depression. In this quick, informative talk, reproductive psychiatrist Alexandra Sacks breaks down the emotional tug-of-war of becoming a new mother -- and shares a term that could help describe it: matrescence.

6mins

30 Aug 2018

Rank #16

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Love letters to strangers | Hannah Brencher

Hannah Brencher's mother always wrote her letters. So when she felt herself bottom into depression after college, she did what felt natural -- she wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, which rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.

4mins

14 Nov 2012

Rank #17

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We don't "move on" from grief. We move forward with it | Nora McInerny

In a talk that's by turns heartbreaking and hilarious, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny shares her hard-earned wisdom about life and death. Her candid approach to something that will, let's face it, affect us all, is as liberating as it is gut-wrenching. Most powerfully, she encourages us to shift how we approach grief. "A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again," she says. "They're going to move forward. But that doesn't mean that they've moved on."

15mins

9 Apr 2019

Rank #18

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How a penny made me feel like a millionaire | Tania Luna

As a young child, Tania Luna left her home in post-Chernobyl Ukraine to take asylum in the US. And one day, on the floor of the New York homeless shelter where she and her family lived, she found a penny. She has never again felt so rich. A meditation on the bittersweet joys of childhood -- and how to hold them in mind.

5mins

26 Jul 2013

Rank #19