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Signing With Babies And Children: Daddy Signs Too!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daddy Signs Too!

In honor of Father’s Day, I dedicate this newsletter to all the males in our lives: our little boys, our fathers and, of course, our husbands.

Our family just came back from a long trip to my homeland, Israel This trip will always be special to me because, while in Israel, my little eight-month-old boy showed us his first sign – MILK! We responded with such excitement that he kept signing milk for everything. This is actually the natural next step in signing. Many babies sign their first sign for other words (like calling everything ‘da da’ at first). He now also signs LIGHT, which is close to the sign for MILK, but we know he knows the difference because he looks at the light when he signs LIGHT. How exciting to know what he’s thinking!

It’s usually the moms who initiate signing with their babies/toddlers and the dads who adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Dad usually is impressed when his little one demonstrates a sign or two, but is more likely than Mom to write this off as a fluke. Still skeptical; one magical day, Dad finds that when he least expects it, his baby/toddler starts making odd gestures with his hands. At first Dad is terrified that his little one is on the verge of a meltdown, but he soon realizes that his baby is signing to him. Dad proudly proclaims his child to be a genius and repeats the story to all who will listen. A signing convert is born! If still not convinced, maybe this story from an enthusiastic dad will help to motivate you men out there to start signing with your little one.

“Sofia was not yet talking …but she was a great signer. We had signed "I love you" to her many times, but that was not a sign she was signing back to us. Sean, who is a usually stoic man, called me one day … and I could tell he had a lot of emotion in his voice. He said to me, "I was changing Sofia's diaper and … heard her calling 'Da-Da, Da-Da!'. When I turned to look at her, she was giving me a perfect 'I love you' sign. It was so cool!"

This Father’s Day, I invite all dads along for a signing class. What better gift is there than communicating with your child?

Let the Sign Shine!

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner
310.613.3900 |

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, so sweet "I love you" sign... not much of a better gift than that!^_^ I can totally relate to the "convert" process. My husband is not only a convert to signing with our children, he now also speaks fluently his native language to our children after realizing the abilities our little ones have to comprehend the spoken and signed languages!