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Signing With Babies And Children: A Little Signing Going A Long Way

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Little Signing Going A Long Way

In humor and content, signing continues to bring us together with understanding and acceptance. A little signing can go a long way.

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

2 comments: said...

Whether a sore throat or just too far away to hear signing is the way to go. I sign to my loved ones "I LOVE YOU" daily and it has caught on. My 2 and 3 year old grandchildren, my adult children, husband, son inlaw and friends all sign "I LOVE YOU" and it's even sweeter to see it than hear it. Pass it on....

SignShine said...

What a GIFT --- your son completely understood that mommy cannot use her voice. He was receptive to your signing and accepted it with LOVE.
He even encouraged you to sign. That is the magical relationship which created from a mutual respect and understanding- signing from a young age.
You should be a VERY proud mommy Shawna!1

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