playlist

Stories from the front lines of parenting

Raising another human being can be tough, yet ultimately rewarding. These talks highlight the struggles and successes unique to parenting.

  1. 23:27
    Andrew Solomon Love, no matter what

    What is it like to raise a child who's different from you in some fundamental way (like a prodigy, or a differently abled kid, or a criminal)? In this quietly moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents — asking them: What's the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?

  2. 5:12
    Clint Smith How to raise a black son in America

    As kids, we all get advice from parents and teachers that seems strange, even confusing. This was crystallized one night for a young Clint Smith, who was playing with water guns in a dark parking lot with his white friends. In a heartfelt piece, the poet paints the scene of his father's furious and fearful response.

  3. 15:02
    Sharon Terry Science didn't understand my kids' rare disease until I decided to study it

    Meet Sharon Terry, a former college chaplain and stay-at-home mom who took the medical research world by storm when her two young children were diagnosed with a rare disease known as pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). In this knockout talk, Terry explains how she and her husband became citizen scientists, working midnight shifts at the lab to find the gene behind PXE and establishing mandates that require researchers to share biological samples and work together.

  4. 6:17
    Roberto D'Angelo + Francesca Fedeli In our baby's illness, a life lesson

    Roberto D'Angelo and Francesca Fedeli thought their baby boy Mario was healthy — until at 10 days old, they discovered he'd had a perinatal stroke. With Mario unable to control the left side of his body, they grappled with tough questions: Would he be "normal?” Could he live a full life? The poignant story of parents facing their fears — and how they turned them around.

  5. 12:26
    Veerle Provoost Do kids think of sperm donors as family?

    How do we define a parent — or a family? Bioethicist Veerle Provoost explores these questions in the context of non-traditional families, ones brought together by adoption, second marriages, surrogate mothers and sperm donations. In this talk, she shares stories of how parents and children create their own family narratives.

  6. 18:44
    Shonda Rhimes My year of saying yes to everything

    Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God's whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her "year of yes" and find out how she got her hum back.

  7. 7:09
    Carina Morillo To understand autism, don't look away

    Carina Morillo knew almost nothing about autism when her son Ivan was diagnosed — only that he didn't speak or respond to words, and that she had to find other ways to connect with him. She shares how she learned to help her son thrive by being curious along with him. (In Spanish with English subtitles)

  8. 14:16
    Aala El-Khani What it's like to be a parent in a war zone

    How do parents protect their children and help them feel secure again when their homes are ripped apart by war? In this warm-hearted talk, psychologist Aala El-Khani shares her work supporting — and learning from — refugee families affected by the civil war in Syria. She asks: How can we help these loving parents give their kids the warm, secure parenting they most need?

  9. 8:48
    Angela Patton A father-daughter dance ... in prison

    At Camp Diva, Angela Patton works to help young girls and their fathers stay connected and become part of each others' lives. But what about girls whose fathers can't be there — because they're in jail? Patton tells the story of a very special father-daughter dance.

  10. 18:11
    Jennifer Senior For parents, happiness is a very high bar

    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, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

  11. 10:34
    Amy Green A video game to cope with grief

    When Amy Green's young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she made up a bedtime story for his siblings to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game, "That Dragon, Cancer," which takes players on a journey they can't win. In this beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play to tragedy. "We made a game that's hard to play," she says, "because the hardest moments of our lives change us more than any goal we could ever accomplish."