9 Clues From a Ph.D. Mother Who Has Got a Very Sensible Approach to Parenthood

Kristyn Sommer is a mother with a Ph. D. degree in the field of children’s development. In her social media she shares her educational experience advising what we should do to be a good parent. She uses her daughter to illustrate her ideas.

#1 Let your children make some mess

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Don’t clean up your kid’s bedroom all the time. A little bit of mess gives room for sense-stimulating games. It is really important for the child to learn what objects look and feel like. Whenever you play with them, make sure that the games help to develop their senses.

#2 Help as much as it is necessary

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Don’t do everything for your child and don’t come running every time you think they need your help. Watch them play and don’t interrupt. Never say ‘This is not how you use this toy. That’s the way you do it right!’ Children should learn independently about new things how to use them.’ Engage only when they ask you to help them. According to Montessori philosophy, we have to help ‘as little as possible and as much as necessary’.

#3 Don’t feed children with mixed food

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After you finish breast-feeding let your baby eat with his/ her fingers and give up on the blended stuff. A child need to learn to chew. Feed them following your instinct and intuition.

#4 Let your child watch TV and use a smartphone or a tablet

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Let your child watch cartoons on TV or computer. Of course everything within fixed time limit. No child should spend several hours in front of the TV set or laptop. Still, two or three episodes of their favorite story won’t do any harm. When you drive somewhere and your baby gets loud, you can also let them watch a cartoon on your phone.

#5 Never talk to them like they were babies

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Don’t use the baby language like ‘baa – baa goo – goo’. Speak slowly and carefully pronounce names of specific objects. When your child points to an onion and says ‘nyo – nyo’, don’t repeat this form. Just keep saying ‘onion’. When you repeat their incorrect version, they might believe they are fine.

#6 Don’t worry about your child’s eating habits

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Don’t be alarmed if you think your child eats too little. They listen to their bodies only and they know it very well when they are hungry. IF they wake up in the middle of the night it doesn’t have to mean that they are hungry. If you serve the lunch and they don’t want to eat it, don’t force them. Just wait until they get hungry and ask you to bring them something.

#7 Don’t force your children to fall asleep

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They know it best when the time to nod off comes. Forcing them to close their eyes and fall asleep is a waste of your time and energy. Do we always go to sleep at the same time?

#8 Don’t be overprotective

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Don’t remove all the obstacles from their way. Let them fall from time to time, even if that means a little bruise. They will also survive a mud stain and wet socks after a puddle jump. This is how they gain experience and shape their personality.

#9 Don’t get stressed

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Don’t feel any pressure when your child develops more slowly than other kids. Don’t compare them and don’t spend too much time analyzing what could be going wrong. Each child is different and all we need to do is to allow them to grow up at their own pace.

Have you got any other hints and clues for ‘beginner’ parents?

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