Mom With PhD In Child Development Shares Unconventional 'Crazy' Parenting Tips

There's more than one way to raise a kid. There's also a never-ending deluge of parenting advice and parenting books. To top it all off, the official guidance for childcare is constantly changing.

For a new parent, it can be tough to know where to begin. But one parenting expert — Dr. Kristyn Sommer, who holds a PhD in child development — shared some of her more uncoventional parenting tips on TikTok.

She doesn't use 'baby talk.'

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

Dr. Sommer, who posts on TikTok as @drkristynsommer shared some tips in a recent video. First and foremost: none of that googoo-gaga baby talk.

This doesn't necessarily mean speaking to a baby like it's a grown adult, though. Dr. Sommer says she speaks normally, but slowly, and emphasizes important words or phrases. Additionally, she won't repeat a baby's mispronounced word. She'll say them back to the baby, correctly.

It's important to recognize developmental stages.

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

Have you ever wondered why your baby got super clingy all of a sudden? Dr. Sommer breaks it down for us. In another video, she explains the four stages of attachment.

In short, a few months into a baby's life cycle, they really start to distinguish between different people. This is why they go from smiling at everyone to only wanting to spend time with their parents.

Don't worry about ABCs and 123s.

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

In this video, Dr. Sommer tells us that the classic teaching tools of the alphabet and counting are really just rote memorization, which doesn't really help kids in the long run.

Since your kids will be in a proper classroom eventually, Dr. Sommer recommends engaging in play rather than counting exercises, since this is a great way for them to learn.

What do you do when your kid cries?

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

It's upsetting to deal with a bawling baby or toddler, and it's natural to try to distract them into stopping.

But, as Dr. Sommer explains, sometimes it's best to just let your kids feel their feelings. It teaches kids that emotions are okay.

Sometimes, the old ways are best.

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

Dr. Sommer says she doesn't disapprove of flashy, light-up, noisy electronic toys because they teach kids valuable lessons in cause-and-effect.

That said, she doesn't use them with her kids. Why? Babies learn cause-and-effect on their own anyway. She also points out the fact that babies tend to get bored with these flashy toys pretty quickly, and they're bound to wind up in a landfill.

Want to help your kid? Help yourself first.

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

Parenting can be a monumental task, and there's no official training manual. Dr. Sommer suggests therapy for parents.

Going to therapy doesn't mean there's anything 'wrong' with you. In fact, one way to look at it is that you're not going for you, you're going for your kids.

Where does her evidence come from?

TikTok | @drkristynsommer

In this video, which is a good one to leave on, Dr. Sommer reassures parents that the 'evidence' in 'evidence-based parenting' is, in fact, real. She gives some background on what researchers are trying to determine when they study parenting, and on why and how kids learn certain things.

Let us know what you think of Dr. Sommer's tips in the comments below!

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