TED Talks is a forum for ideas, intended to be accessible to people across the world.  It is more than a trending conference- it is a haven for “ideas worth spreading”.  Here are 5 TED talks that look at parenting from various angles, by inspiring and knowledgeable speakers.

Kang Lee
University Distinguished Professor
“Can You Really Tell if a Kid is Lying?”

How soon do young children master complex social behaviors, including lying?  Kang Lee has devoted his career to solving the puzzles of the development social cognition and behavior.  With an international team based at the University of Toronto, Kang Lee investigates the neurological and social basis of emerging social behaviors in young children.  In this TED talk, Lee questions if children are poor liars and if you think you can easily detect their lies.  Developmental researcher Kang Lee studies what happens physiologically to children when they lie.

Caroline Paul
Author, Known for Fighting Fire and East Wind, Rain
“To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure”

Caroline Paul was one of the first women to work for the San Francisco Fire Department — a job that inspired her first work of nonfiction, Fighting Fire. Her latest book, The Gutsy Girl, uses stories from her own life as a gutsy woman to inspire girls to break the rules, take risks and accept seemingly insurmountable challenges.  In her TED talk, she discusses how gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women.

Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman
Co-Founders of Babble, a website for parents
“Let’s Talk Parenting Taboos”

Alisa Volkman co-founded Babble with her husband, Rufus Griscom, in December 2006, and has spent the past four years growing the site to attract more than 4 million parents a month. As VP of Sales Strategy and Brand Development, Volkman oversees design, influences product development, and creates and sells custom ad programs.  Griscom serves as Babble’s CEO. He was co-founder of the pathbreaking Nerve.com in 1997, as the website’s founding editor and CEO.  In this TED talk, they expose 4 facts that parents never, ever admit — and why they should.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Cognitive Neuroscientist
“The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain”

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore studies the social brain — the network of brain regions involved in understanding other people — and how it develops in adolescents.  Remember being a teenager? Rocked internally with hormones, outwardly with social pressures, you sometimes wondered what was going on in your head. So does Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. And what she and others in her field are finding is: The adolescent brain really is different, and she discusses how in this TED talk.

Jennifer Senior
Journalist & Best-Selling Author of All Joy and No Fun
“For Parents, Happiness is a Very High Bar”

Much has been written about how parents affect their children. But how do children affect their parents? Jennifer Senior, a writer for New York Magazine since 1997 who brings both warmth and rigor to investigating our emotional lives, ponders this dynamic in her book All Joy and No Fun. Senior specializes in long, elaborate stories about social science, using a trademark combination of academic research, empathy and wit to investigate some of most challenging aspects of our social and interior lives.  In this TED talk, Senior discusses the elusive goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children. In this honest conversation, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.


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