16 powerful TED talks for parenting teens


TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

I’ve watched 100s of inspiring TED Talks and I’ve chosen these ones as being the best TED Talks for parenting teens. It is so, so easy to lose our way when the kids are teens. We are pulled between our own core values and what we perceive to be society’s values; both stacked against how our kids choose to interpret the world. Parenting teens is definitely not for the weak.

All of these TED Talks have something to say about teenagers, parenting, society or all three of the above. I’ve chosen them precisely because they are not dictatorial. None of these brilliant minds pretend to have all the answers. Rather, I think they help us solidify what we think parenting teens should be about. Certainly, they have all helped me find my way to my own values and offered suggestions for instilling those values in my kids.

You might agree with some of the advice given, you may disagree with a lot of it. Either way, these TED Talks for parenting teens will inspire discussion and deep-thought.

You might like this too:  16 inspiring TED Talks for kids


16 TED Talks for parenting teens 

1. How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting by Julie Lythcott-Haims TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“And our kids, regardless of where they end up at the end of high school, they’re breathless. They’re brittle. They’re a little burned out. They’re a little old before their time, wishing the grown-ups in their lives had said, “What you’ve done is enough, this effort you’ve put forth in childhood is enough.” And they’re withering now under high rates of anxiety and depression and some of them are wondering, will this life ever turn out to have been worth it?”

Related: We need to stop being so available to our kids


2. My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story by Sue KleboldTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“Before the shootings, I thought of myself as a good mom. Helping my children become caring, healthy, responsible adults was the most important role of my life. But the tragedy convinced me that I failed as a parent, and it’s partially this sense of failure that brings me here today.”

3. What we don’t teach kids about sex by Sue Jaye JohnsonTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“We teach our children “the talk” about biology and mechanics, about pregnancy and safe sex, and that’s what our kids grow up thinking that sex is pretty much all about. But we can do better than that. We can teach our sons and daughters about pleasure and desire, about consent and boundaries, about what it feels like to be present in their body and to know when they’re not.”

4. Every kid needs a champion by Rita Pierson TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“A colleague said to me one time, ‘They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed.’

Well, I said to her, ‘You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'”

5. The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain by Sarah-Jayne BlakemoreTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“What’s sometimes seen as the problem with adolescents — heightened risk-taking, poor impulse control, self-consciousness — shouldn’t be stigmatized. It actually reflects changes in the brain that provide an excellent opportunity for education and social development.”

6. The beauty of being a misfit by Lidia YuknavitchTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“You see, I’m trying to tell you something about people like me. Misfit people — we don’t always know how to hope or say yes or choose the big thing, even when it’s right in front of us. It’s a shame we carry. It’s the shame of wanting something good. It’s the shame of feeling something good. It’s the shame of not really believing we deserve to be in the room with the people we admire.”

7. How games make kids smarter by Gabe ZichermannTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“Kids have to have an extraordinary multitasking skill to be able to achieve things today. We never had to have that. It turns out things like that actually make you smarter.”

Related: How to set boundaries on gaming


8. The difference between winning and success by John WoodenTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“If you make the effort to do the best of which you’re capable, trying to improve the situation that exists for you, I think that’s success, and I don’t think others can judge that; it’s like character and reputation — your reputation is what you’re perceived to be; your character is what you really are.”

9. Why school should start later for teens by Wendy Troxel

“Advocates of sleep-friendly start times know that adolescence is a period of dramatic brain development, particularly in the parts of the brain that are responsible for those higher order thinking processes, including reasoning, problem-solving and good judgment. In other words, the very type of brain activity that’s responsible for reining in those impulsive and often risky behaviors that are so characteristic of adolescence and that are so terrifying to us parents of teenagers.”

10. Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you by Meaghan RamseyTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“An an image-obsessed culture, we are training our kids to spend more time and mental effort on their appearance at the expense of all of the other aspects of their identities. So, things like their relationships, the development of their physical abilities, and their studies and so on begin to suffer. Six out of 10 girls are now choosing not to do something because they don’t think they look good enough.”

11. Grit: The power of passion and perseveranceTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“So far, the best idea I’ve heard about building grit in kids is something called “growth mindset.” This is an idea developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort.”

Related: 10 ways to build resilience to help kids cope with life


12. A taboo-free way to talk about periods by Aditi GuptaTED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“Dear parents, if you would be ashamed of periods, your daughters would be, too. So please be period positive.”

Related: What’s it like when your daughter gets her first period


13. To this day… for the bullied and the beautiful by Shane Koyczan TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“I’ve been shot down so many times, I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself. But that’s what we were told. “Stand up for yourself.” And that’s hard to do if you don’t know who you are. We were expected to define ourselves at such an early age, and if we didn’t do it, others did it for us. Geek. Fatty. Slut. Fag.”

14. High school training ground by Malcolm London TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“Lockers left open like teenage boys’ mouths when teenage girls wear clothes that covers their insecurities but exposes everything else.”

Related: 21+ things to know about starting high school


15. A teen just trying to figure it out by Tavi Gevinson TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“I’m not saying, “Be like us,” and “We’re perfect role models,” because we’re not, but we just want to help represent girls in a way that shows those different dimensions.”

16. What makes a good life by Robert Waldinger TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

“There was a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were, and over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 percent of those same young adults said that another major life goal was to become famous.”

Do you have a favourite TED Talk for parenting teens to add to the list?


TED Talks for parenting teens #tedtalks #parentingteens #parenting

Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than 10 years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

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1 Comment

  1. Shevonne

    I’ve listened to some of these, and they are great. Definitely going to listen to the rest. Thank you!


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