Core4Parenting Language Development Skills

Core4Parenting sat down with Spanish4Kiddos to talk about how to help parents with language development skills. Cara Tyrrell, the founder of Core4Parenting, describes who she helps parents with skills that children need even as babies. I talked with Cara about the many ways she uses her programs to help parents.

Listen to my interview with Cara and discover ways to help children and students with social-emotional skills and language development. 

Core4Parenting Language Development

How did you get started with Core4Parenting? What is your mission for parents and families? 

I’m a lifetime lover of littles who followed my passion through babysitting, then nanny positions, followed by higher education in ASL, Linguistics, and a Master’s degree in Education. I graduated excited to serve in the early childhood education sector.

I adored my classrooms, connecting with our youngest citizens and nurturing them as they developed a love of learning, yet I noticed a pattern. My 5 and 6-year-olds were coming to school lacking a comprehensive readiness to learn in all classroom areas.

I’ve spent the last ten years developing Core4Parenting’s methodology to empower, engage, and enrich new parents’ journey as their baby’s first (and best) teacher during the critical developmental years from birth to five.

Our community and curricula give them the parenting toolkit to set their kids up for success as learners in school and life. 

Improving Communication Skills

What are tips for parents/families to help with language development or social-emotional skills for kids?

Do you know the phrase “have to see it to believe it”? I feel like there’s a similar experience in the world of a baby’s language development.

  • New parents often have to “hear it to believe it.”
  • Once their baby begins to talk, to communicate in a way that’s understandable to the world, they realize they have to be careful what they say.
  • I coined birth to 3 the Invisible Learning Years.
  • We can’t see or hear what’s happening in our babies’ brains.
  • Yet, we are literally shaping their brain growth and their earliest sense of self with the words we use and the tone we choose.

The way we talk to our babies from birth matters!

The research about early language exposure during the receptive language development period is clear: talk to your baby in complete sentences to set them up as a child able to express themselves confidently and comprehensively. 

Strategies to Develop Language Skills at Home

What is your approach for language development in young children? Is there any age-specific? 

I use ASL (American Sign Language) signs from birth with every child I’ve ever raised, my own and those I’ve had the privilege of nannying. There are too many benefits to this brief response, but here’s the overview.

The ability to sign using gross and fine motor skills develops much earlier than the ability to speak. The transitional period when a baby’s receptive language has evolved into the desire to communicate their thoughts, needs, feelings, and opinions with their parents and caregivers occur before producing complex speech.

This type of approach often results in early communication frustration, which, more than not, is erroneously interpreted as early behavior warning signs. Using ASL intentionally as a bridge to speech diffuses the frustration and empowers our kids to communicate with us, early and often!

The long-term benefits include a positive sense of self, knowing they have a voice and we’re willing to listen, developing strong bonds with parents, vocabulary development, and more.

Core4Parenting Tips to Embrace Self-Awareness

How soon can parents implement skills to help their children be self-aware of their emotions?

You can begin from day one! Consider that it’s not just your baby transitioning into this new world – you are too!

You are full of new levels of self-awareness and emotions as you embrace your new role as mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa. Talk to them about it.

Say things like, “This is all new to me, and I love you enough to figure it out.” When your baby uses the one and only way they have to communicate with you, it is crying.

Respond by saying, “You are so upset right now. Something doesn’t feel right, and I’m going to help you solve that.” When your toddler is making it clear they don’t like what you offered for dinner – talk about it.

“Wow, you really don’t want to eat broccoli. You wish we had a different vegetable, but tonight that’s not an option.” When we, as adults, choose our words intentionally, narrating for our kids, echoing their feelings, sharing our emotional struggles with them, we empower them with the foundational self skills they need to develop emotional regulation.

Tips for Developing Sleep Patterns to Help with SEL 

What strategies do you use in the Sleep Soothing System? Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

Absolutely! Although I’ve been developing Core4 in my head and heart for a lifetime, the company has gone from idea to reality in the last 18 months.

We are curating an online community for proactive, like-minded parents inside our Virtual Village. As people and parents, we are hard-wired for social interaction and support.

However, the pandemic has made it clear we need to build this safe space for parents. We are building out a suite of digital, on-demand courses within the village, targeting the most common struggles inside our homes.

We launched with our Sleep Soothing System, and I’m excited to say our next course is coming soon. Sign to Speak: 21 ASL Signs in 21 Days to Use with Your Baby from Birth bridges the early language barrier.

Over the next year, we are producing courses for the 3rd and 4th trimesters, a class called Transition Songs for Toddlers incorporating music into language development, and cultivating pre-school readiness in the home.

Learn More

About Cara Tyrrell, founder of Core4Parenting:

Cara is the founder of Core4Parenting with a passion for helping parents develop language and emotional skills to nurture relationships between children and parents.

You can reach Cara at her Core4Parenting website or the Virtual Village member area. 

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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