When I first started to teach Baby Signing 5 years ago, I read somewhere that children don’t understand the concept of ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ – so its no point teaching them these words.
I’m sure most of you would agree that this is not quite true! Children as young as 10 month old can learn to sign ‘please’. OK, its arguable in what depth they actually understand the true meaning of the word – but is this not how we teach children : we constantly expose them to new things which they then become used to so that they will eventually learn the meaning!
This has made me think about other signs we may be teaching our little ones. Feelings such as ‘proud’, confused’ and ‘worried’ may seem out of a one year olds vocabulary range. I was pulled up on this by a Nursery manager when I showed them a clip of Laura Berg’s daughter Fireese sign along to a book about feelings. (Thanks Laura J)
I am not sure how deep Fireeses understanding of the word ‘Proud’ was at that time, but she saw a picture and made the connection with the word and the sign. This will undoubtedly help Fireese to broaden her vocabulary and to learn the meaning much sooner than a non-signing baby.
My point is : don’t be afraid to use some signs which you THINK your baby may be too young for. If the context and the situation is appropriate, use it! Never underestimate your child.