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Signing With Babies And Children: 3 Steps to Signing Expectations

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Monday, August 2, 2010

3 Steps to Signing Expectations

Here are three steps that help me sign with my children or children that are in my care^_^. When I am able to sign what is to come next, the child and I are both able to feel more secure in striving for the expectation at hand.

1. List daily routines
2. Choose Three Signs for each routine
3. Don't be afraid to add signs to those routines

While thinking of the routines that occur daily with your child, also think of "what is to be expected." This will help you recognize routines. Then go from there in choosing three signs that correlate with the routine. If another sign comes to mind, welcome it, and keep signing away.

For example, as I watched my 1 year old niece yesterday, I was not sure which signs she has learned over the past six months. I was given the direction to lay her down with a sippy cup to have her drink milk before laying her down to sleep.

I decided to sign three different signs to help her focus on the goal- which was to drink most of her milk before retiring to nap time.

The three signs were "drink, milk, sleep" as I would say, "Drink your milk, then we'll go to sleep." I said this a number of times, and then all of the sudden, she let go of one of the sides of the sipper cup (with the handles) and began signing milk as she observed her own hand opening and closing.

A way that another sign could have been involved is after she drank her milk, I could have encouraged the goal by signing and saying, "You drank your milk, now we're going to go to sleep" and adding "let's go get your blanket," signing blanket.

And if by chance the expectation at hand isn't met, well, you know that at least you met your own expectation of signing with your child.^_^

Written by Shawna Tran

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