Watch: Lessons from a study on human development, spanning 70 years

Watch: Lessons from a study on human development, spanning 70 years

In this Ted Talk, which draws from the longest study on human development, Helen Pearson talks about positive parenting lessons.

ted talk
Ted Talk by Helen Pearson (Source: YouTube)

In this talk, science journalist and author of The Life Project, Helen Pearson tells the fascinating story of the longest-running study of human development in the world, involving thousands of British children over a span of 70 years.

In this talk, Pearson cuts through the research to focus on how science can be used to do the best for our children. The mother of three boys, who are three, nine and 12, confesses that like most parents, she pretty much has no idea of what she’s doing. “I want them to be happy and healthy in their lives, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to make sure they are happy and healthy.”

But, before that, she talks about how children growing up in poverty were discovered to be almost a year behind children from well-to-do families on educational tests, by the age of three. “Early circumstances,” she says, “have a profound influence on the way that the rest of our lives play out.”

The studies also look at factors that are associated with good outcomes for children, such as reading for pleasure. Such children went on to better at school. Of course, the most important thing of all, she says, is spending time with children and paying close attention to what they are telling us.

Watch the video here: