Mom With A PhD In Child Development Shares What 'Crazy' Things Help Her Parent

The debate surrounding parenting best practices is neverending. Sometimes, it can be difficult to discern what's helping and what's hindering your child's development. But now thanks to a series of videos from Dr. Kristyn Sommer, parents are finally getting some clarity.

Through her TikTok account, Dr. Sommer has begun highlighting all of the seemingly "crazy" things she does as a parent that actually help child development. It may be controversial to some, but according to Dr. Sommer — it works.

One of the first things you're going to want to put a stop to is "baby talk."

It may sound counterintuitive but you don't want to speak like a baby to your baby. That means no "goo-goo ga-ga" and no raising your voice to a higher register.

"That doesn't mean I don't do child-directed speech," Dr. Sommer specifies. "I slow down my speech and highlight things. I point to objects, but I absolutely don't repeat the errors that she makes."

That means if your child calls their bottle a "bot bot" — you never repeat "bot bot" back to them.

Dr. Sommer says that when parents affirm their child's mistakes, they set them up for failure. What she recommends doing instead is repeating the word your child is attempting to say back at them in the correct manner.

This not only lets your infant hear how the word is supposed to sound but it gives them yet another opportunity to try and get it right. This can have a drastic impact on a child's speech recognition.

Dr. Sommer also says that she is a very lazy parent.

At first, you might think that laziness and good parenting don't mix, but according to Dr. Sommer, it's all in how you define the term.

For instance, when it comes to a child's playtime, Dr. Sommer says "I'd like to observe her and help her when she needs it, but not all the time. I also don't interrupt her. And this is a really hard thing to do as a parent."

Another controversial opinion Dr. Sommer endorses is that all kids should have screen time.

This is in direct opposition to what the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) states, which is that children under the age of 2 shouldn't have any screen time whatsoever.

Dr. Sommer says that "Multiple studies have proven that this just isn't being listened to because it's not realistic for parents." She goes on to say that "Kids are getting away with more screen time than the AAP recommends."

But by no means does Dr. Sommer suggest that your infant child should be watching eight hours of TV a day.

Moderation is key and like with most things in life — there's always a time and a place. "My kid is a car screamer," Dr. Sommer explains. "She screams her head off in the car. I pass her my phone with YouTube on it. And that's it. She watches Coco Melon and Blippi. And she doesn't scream anymore. And I don't have a panic attack."

Perhaps the 'craziest' thing of all is that Dr. Sommer let's her child get messy.

I'm not talking about playing in the sandbox, I mean all-out sticky fingers, stained clothes, gum-in-hair kind of messy. It may at times be a bit more to clean up during bathtime, but Dr. Sommer says that it's well worth it.

"Why messy sensory play is really good for children's development: it's great for cognitive development and helps develop and enhance memory and encourages language development, particularly abstract concepts," Dr. Sommer says.

So far, the result has been overwhelmingly positive to all of Dr. Sommer's videos.

Fellow TikTok user jazzlejay21 said, "Just saw many of your videos and I loved them." Another user who goes by the handle @whoaitsrow echoed the sentiment by saying "This is not crazy. This totally works. I've been doing this with my 4 year old[sic] since he was born."

What are your thoughts? Do you think that Dr. Sommer's 'crazy' techniques are just that or do you feel that there is a method to her madness? Leave a comment below and let us know!