Some seven-year-olds can barely string a sentence together, but a seven-year-old girl from Australia has just given an inspiring TED Talk about the benefits of parents playing with their kids. According to TED, Molly Wright is now the youngest person to ever give a TED Talk and she did an amazing job. Her speech begins with her asking the audience, “What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?”
From there, Molly engages the crowd and eloquently speaks about the positive impact of parents and caregivers playing with kids, especially when they’re young. She breaks down research-backed ways parents can support children’s healthy brain development, highlighting the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behavior and well-being. She explains that what scientists call “serve and return” is really just a “grown up way of saying” connect, talk to and play with kids.
Molly explains that every moment in parenting is a chance to connect and play and her one-year-old neighbor and his father even join her on stage as “real life props” to demonstrate her points about interacting. She uses the pair to illustrate what happens when a parent is distracted on a device and his baby is trying to get his attention, explaining that kids, especially young ones, are trying to make meaningful connections and when they can’t, it can cause unnecessary confusion and stress. The audience was so impressed with the talk from this young, passionate advocate for child development, they gave her a standing ovation.