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Signing With Babies And Children: Babies Who Sign Feel Respected

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Babies Who Sign Feel Respected

Empowering your baby with sign language allows him to grow up feeling respected. When children feel understood they feel respected, and when they feel respected, they in turn are more aware of those around them and the impact they have on them. They feel more confident and happy because they can be understood. So if your baby is not yet able to express himself using his vocal chords to form spoken words, by empowering him with signs, he knows to use language to communicate - to get his/her ideas across, to express feelings using words, to use words to express needs and wants. Instead of crying, s/he now has the knowledge to use words, whether they be signs or vocalizations, or even pointing to refer to objects or people. Surprisingly, his confidence spreads across languages. One might think that a baby who is signing might get frustrated with someone who doesn’t know sign language. On the contrary, babies know to switch languages depending with whom they are trying to communicate. Often, one will observe a baby say ‘water’ to her mommy or daddy, but ‘agua’ to her nanny. Interestingly the baby will use the sign for ‘water’ with mommy, daddy and her nanny, demonstrating her understanding that the sign language is a bridge between the two languages. One of my moms reported that her little one knows to get her jacket and shoes when her nanny says ‘vamanos’ (let’s go), but when mommy or daddy try to say ‘vamanos’ her baby laughs.


SignShine said...

It is true for all human beings, starting at birth: when we feel understood, we feel respected! Thank you for a beautiful post.

Let the Sign Shine!

Etel Leit, M.S.
Founder & Owner

My Baby Details said...

I agree whole heartedly, Etel. I was just thinking on the same lines... "when [we] feel understood, [we] feel respected." I can see why it has been expressed that signing with your child creates a greater bond between the two of you.

And in regard to children switching languages depending on whom they are communicating with, I witness this with my 2 year old daughter when she chooses to use more Vietnamese vocabulary while reading books with her daddy and English vocabulary while reading books with me.^_^ And bridging the gap between the two languages with sign language even helps me to learn simple Vietnamese vocabulary!