By the age of 5 approximately 85% of a child's foundational brain growth is complete. By intervening early in their child's development, parents and caregivers are able to set children up to be more resilient and successful when they enter kindergarten. Having parents ask themselves what qualities and characteristics they want to instill in their child can reframe the conversation from what they want a child to be to who they want their child to be.
The first step in beginning to cultivate the whole child:
- is to not only speak to them in full sentences
- but to narrate what the parent is doing or feeling.
Even as young as three months old a baby's brain is developing architecturally by hearing complex and complete speech. Speaking to them not only about what a parent is doing but also how a parent is feeling or wants to feel. The example Cara gives in the podcast is for the parent to narrate while making a cup of tea, the reason behind needing or wanting a cup of tea and how the parent will drink the tea. “Wow, today was really a hard day for me. I'm gonna go make a cup of tea. And then I will sit here and we will play together.”
The second thing parents can do to help their baby build communication skills:
- is to use sign language with their child.
By giving them a voice through sign language parents find that communication is easier and helps to avoid frustration before a child can use words to communicate. Children get frustrated because while they can understand what you are saying to them, they are not yet able to use their expressive language skills to tell you what they need, feel or want. By using sign language it gives children the ability to communicate their needs, wants and feelings.
For parents of older children Cara mentions that it’s not too late to teach our teens about emotional control. When we notice our older kids are angry or upset, many parents try to stop their child's feelings of anger, sadness, frustration and so forth instead of helping them channel their feelings into an appropriate outlet. It is more helpful for parents to realize that it's their child's job to try to discharge their feelings in a way that is okay to do and then help them develop the tools to feel like they can solve their own problem once they have calmed down.
Cara’s online courses help parents through all the stages of development from birth through five. She has created a virtual village with education courses, support groups and professional advice that has helped countless parents and families begin the journey of teaching their children how to effectively communicate in the world. If you are interested in booking a free 15-minute consultation with Cara follow this link https://tinyurl.com/47akru5e.
Cara also offers a free webinar on her website at
FREE Webinar Part1 — Home with Core4