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Signing With Babies And Children: Merely Observing

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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

1 comment:

Gigi Davidson said...

Although this blog entry was relatively short, it stirred up ideas that I had been contemplating recently. As a child, I was extremely quiet and introverted, but I was not unhappy being so. One particular instance of this I think sums it up well: in second grade, when my teacher asked the class who would like to help hand out donuts that a parent had brought to the classroom as a treat, every hand shot up but mine. I was not too scared or shy to hand out donuts; I simply did not want to. I was a quieter child, but I do not think I missed out on life because of it. In fact, as this article acutely notes, observation can be a powerful tool—more powerful than being loud. Too often, people speak and act without thinking, either about the situation at hand or about other people’s feelings. I think that staying quiet as a child made me into a more empathetic person. I related a lot of the ideas I saw from this article with the book Quiet by Susan Cain, which talks about the power of introverts—one of which is the advantage of observation. Reading this article and seeing that a two year old was able to observe, consider, and feel the sleeping infant seemed astonishing due to that age’s notorious reputation as “the terrible twos.” If one of the many benefits of teaching children to sign is better observation of cues in other people and the physical world, then I think this is a tool that can help change the world.