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Signing With Babies And Children: March 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
The other day when my throat was hurting along with a cold brewing, I knew that I did not have the energy to keep up with the requests of my children. With the soar throat, each time I talked, the tickling cough would go into affect as well.
So, instead of trying to tell my oldest son (age of 7) to go continue to play for a little bit before bedtime, as he came up to me, I pointed to my throat area on my neck and signed “hurt.” It took him a while to figure out what I was talking about, but once he got it, he was not only humored that mommy was signing But very supportive. He signed back to me in silence as he pointed to his own throat and signed "hurt," pointing then back to me, and smiled as he just went on to go play.
It continued on to the next morning, when we were in the car. He simply asked, “mom, does your throat still hurt?” I said “yes.” Then he said, “you can sign ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when I ask questions.” So for the next 15 minutes, as we drove, he would ask me questions, and I would simply reach my arm towards the back and sign “yes” or “no.” We were bonding over a simple game of "Yes, no, maybe so."
Then later that night, as we were getting out bedtime books, I was beginning to read to my children. My oldest then took over and said, "I can read because your throat hurts." I smiled as I held up the story book about animals and their moms and gladly listened as he read to his siblings.
Signing can be empowering to not only our children’s voices, but for our own. It can be a very helpful and fun way to communicate as well as bring a sense of visual understanding that can go a long ways (instead of just saying "my throat hurt," signing it seemed to have a more lasting affect!).
Written by Shawna Tran
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I just got to broswe a new very detailed and fun one:
Baby Sign Language Academy:
The dictionary has over 550 signs online with another 500+ in production. Once the initial uploading phase is complete, more words will be added based on requests from visitors.
Enjoy and practice,
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Signs, words, facial expressions, eye contact, a kick of the foot, cries and giggles are all about communication, and communication is about connecting with others, expressing needs, wants, thoughts and ideas. The more children and babies feel understood, the more they will use these modes of communication to initiate a reaction from you.
Establishing a routine allows children to anticipate and to feel in control; establishing a routine is a good thing. Sign language is a wonderful tool to incorporate into your routine as it helps the baby’s brain to anticipate, remember and to be understood. By having a routine, the chances of your baby guessing what is next, or anticipating what is next is much greater. “Oh, so when mommy signs ‘milk’, I’m going to be fed.” Eventually he’ll try to communicate his desire by imitating your sign or by approximating his own.
Focus on keeping learning fun, and communication about being understood. When you demonstrate that you understand what your baby is thinking, he feels successful in his communication - his simple reward is “they understand me!” When I asked, 'oh do you want milk?', your baby may give you a big smile, nod of his head, a nuzzle in your breast, a clap of his hands or a gleeful kick of his foot. This is great communication. He is using his signs to let you know what he wants.