Hey folks, welcome here!
Let me introduce myself. I’m Kristyn, but if you’ve stumbled across this website then you've probably come here from my socials where you know me as Dr. Kristyn Sommer. I’m a mum to a toddler, a wife, a university lecturer in developmental psychology and I have a PhD in child development and early cognitive development. I also spend a lot of time on my socials, as you may well know, bringing you all sorts of evidence based parenting content.
I have over a decade of education under my belt, with an undergraduate degree in psychology with honours and a PhD in early cognitive development. In addition, I’ve been teaching developmental psychology at the university level in some capacity for 7 years and currently lecture developmental psychology at a major Australian university.
My transition to motherhood was an absolute sh*t show.
You’d think that with all that education, all that knowledge and know how about kids that I’d be a perfect parent and would have transitioned to parenthood seamlessly right? Wrong. My transition to motherhood was an absolute sh*t show.
I had extreme postnatal anxiety with a solid helping of postnatal depression to go with it. I had a baby that contradicted all the traditional parenting advice (hello fellow highly sensitive kiddo parents). I had terrible experiences with health care practitioners that perpetuated parenting myths completely at odds with my extensive knowledge on the infant brain.
I came up against those parenting myths time and time again in interactions with my own friends, family and strangers and everyone said it so often I started doubting my own knowledge and started blaming myself for all of the things about my baby that didn’t fit the “good baby” mould.
Little by little I clawed my way out of the postnatal anxiety and depression, I started systematically debunking those parenting myths with copious research to support what I intuitively felt and by the time my daughter was one, I was standing atop the parenting mountain, feeling like I could breathe again and like I could keep me and my baby safe from the absurd norms that society imposes upon parents.
Knowing I could safeguard me and my baby was enough for a little while, but as I started getting further away from the fog of new parenthood, a fire started to grow. I didn’t want to just protect my own family from the undue pressures of uninformed and unfair societal norms. I wanted to spare families everywhere from the agony and struggle that I endured.
So one day I jumped on TikTok and shared my experience first with my postnatal anxiety and depression to normalize that experience and then I started sharing all the “crazy” things I do as a mum with a PhD. I did this in the hopes of showing other parents that there is more than one way to parent.
My TikTok blew up and as my audience grew my passion for translating science into parenting advice grew too. I started curating evidence based parenting content and serving that up in 60 second simple to understand videos that any parent with access to a phone and internet could receive. Every month on average I reach over 6 million families and our parenting community is growing by the day.
For a passion project fueled by my desire to give parents the empowerment to take back their parental authority and parent the way they want, and guiding them with science, I’m so proud of where we are and so excited for where we’re going. But this is currently just my hobby, side hustle, passion project, whatever you want to call it. I also have a day job…
My day job, the one that takes up the majority of my time is being an academic. I teach hundreds of undergraduate students all about child development. I also have my own research streams where I investigate how children learn from technologies and robots. I supervise and train undergraduate students in how to conduct research in general and more specifically with infants, toddlers and children. And I mentor up and coming researchers, teaching them all about how to do good science, how to practice open science practices and how to do statistics that might make a normal persons brain hurt.
Every month on average I reach over 6 million families and our parenting community is growing by the day.
On top of this, in my PhD I worked with a team of engineers as the only Child Development expert to design and build robots for kids that were safe, fun and educational. I’ve got a pretty hectic day job, but I love what I do and I have a huge passion for teaching and learning so it should come as no surprise that I don’t constrain my teaching passions to within the hallowed halls of a university.
At the intersection of my passion for teaching and learning and my desire to support and inform parents using evidence-based practices, this place was born. It doesn’t have a name yet and I’m not sure what it will deliver, but one thing I can promise you is that when you come here you will feel safe, seen and understood in your parenting journey.
My figurative doors are open to everyone endeavoring to survive and thrive in parenthood. And because I don’t believe that scientific knowledge or science communication should be behind a pay wall (despite my academic works being trapped behind the Elsevier pay wall, all of which you can find in this website in full for free) I will also be constantly creating free resources that go along with the content I provide on my socials. Everyone deserves access to evidence based parenting information despite their budget. So I will always provide resources for free, and more comprehensive course, packages or consults at a fee which will enable me to continue bringing you the free content too!
So this is me and this is why I’m here. I’m a parent just like you, wanting to help you and your family thrive in whatever way I can. I’ll see you around!