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Signing With Babies And Children: July 2010

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Signing MORE

Signing for babies is very rewarding and
, but every parent wants to know which signs are the best
The most common sign that parents, who are not taking classes, choose to start signing
is MORE. Be aware-vague signs like MORE might be confusing and ineffective for
babies, as they are seen in a variety of contexts, and can produce different
results in each different context. For example, signing MORE might get them
more milk, more cookies, more toys, etc. But signing is more salient when
it produces specific results, and thus gets positive reinforcement.
Signing MORE can easily be just a nonspecific cry, since it can mean so many
different things. With signing, we would like to enhance speech and enlarge
, and I suspect that signing MORE as the first sign can do just
the opposite.

 So what are the hallmarks of a great first baby sign?
Read it in our next blog...

Let the SignShine,

Etel Leit, M.S. Founder & Owner 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sign Language Helps Children to be Effective Communicators

In this day and age when so many of our children are overexposed to television, video games, computers and cell phones, children run the risk of never developing the ability to be effective communicators. Sign language encourages children to make eye contact, to be aware of subtle facial expressions, and bodily gestures and to be better listeners - all important elements to effective and successful communication. By teaching your children sign language, you are giving them the gift of effective communication while at the same time having tons of fun.

The benefits of signing are endless. Sign language can enhance the bond between parent and child, and promote early communication. By teaching your baby sign language you are empowering your child with a means with which to communicate his thoughts. A baby’s brain is ready for language much earlier than the vocal chords are ready to speak. In other words, a baby understands and can communicate his needs and desires if you provide him with a mode of communication that is not reliant on vocal chords. Sign language empowers babies to express their feelings and needs, therefore reducing frustration and promoting comprehension, which leads to a much happier and respectful relationship between parent and child.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SignShine Fun Party! Pictures and Videos

The SignShine  party at the Hollywood Pump Station was a huge success! Veteran mommy and daddy
signers and fresh faces alike gathered together for fun and learning with their
babies. Everyone shared
their signing stories
over cookies and refreshments. We were all very
excited to learn that some of the babies that had been in the classes previously
were already starting
to sign
! The class got started with signing
, and Etel showed everyone how to incorporate signing into
parenting techniques. She answered questions and talked about the benefits
of signing
. After some interactive games, we had the raffle! A few of
the lucky parents were very excited to win baby books, discounts, and videos!
It was a fun and exciting day for both old and new members of the
SignShine family!
Thank you for being an important part of SignShine Family!

Let the Sign Shine,
etel Etel Leit, M.S. Founder &Owner  Publisher

Scarlette's Little Hands

It has been a little while since I have contributed to our wonderful Baby Sign Language Glog but the past months have been rather traumatic.
In an attempt to get away for a long weekend in the mountains, we stayed at a log cabin up at the Bunyas. The lovely hosts had already started the wood fired heater in the cabin so the atmosphere was perfect when we arrived.

Unfortunately, wood fired heaters and small children do not make for a relaxing weekend away...

After 7 hours of trying to keep little hands well away from the heat, the thing we feared the worst happened. Innocently, Scarlette tripped over her own feet and landed with both hands on the heater. I didn't see it happen but Ian did and he raced her straight to the tap and we spent the next 3 hours with her hands under icy cold water. There is no worse moment for a parent than when you can't take away the pain of your little one.

The nearest hosptial was 40 minutes drive away so we wanted to make sure she was more comfortable before we made the trip. A rather large dose of paracetamol and she finally fell asleep in the car.

The hospital staff were amazing, Scarlette slept through the bandaging and woke 4 hours later amused at her new little paddles - they had put casts on her hands.
Children are so resilient. The trauma took us days to recover from while she was off discovering how to use these new appendages to explore the world around her. She didn't once get frustrated with the casts...she could bang louder on the window, still play with her toys and bless her, she still used her little casts to sign to us.

So, 6 weeks on now and she is perfectly healed. Many trips to the burns clinic and the first aide that we were able to administer to her prevented permanent damage or the need for skin grafts.

Here is a photo of our little angel baby signing 'I love you' - even with her little casts on....We love you too Scarlette.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Merely Observing

Upon walking into the room upon where new baby brother is sleeping, sister of the age of two merely signs “sleep.”

No other words are spoken, but it is apparent that she is aware of her baby brother and she is taking into account that she should be quiet because he’s sleeping.

Learning to observe the world around us and express ourselves is a gift.

Through the power of signing with our children, we’re giving them another means of expressing themselves in their own creative ways.

Just as much as two year old sister is observing the world around her, two month old brother is too.

This is a great opportunity to begin signing with my littlest one (when he's starting to react to the world around him). I enjoy beginning my signing journey with each child by choosing three signs to sign at a time.

Please look out for my next entry where I will explain how I go about choosing these three signs at a time.

written by Shawna Tran