Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sign Language: A New Means of Communication

I don't have any children yet but I do have a young niece and nephew and I know how challenging communicating with them can be at times. I would imagine that communicating with your own baby can likewise be tough and often very frustrating.  You, as a mother, may often feel overwhelmed from all the different types of "cries" your baby has in order for he/she to try and communicate with you.  An idea to bridge that communication gap until your baby can start speaking may be sign language.

However, signing is not just a way to enhance communication between you and your baby, it also offers many other benefits.  Signing can be a source of bonding between parent and child.  It allows the baby to explore and enhance his/her developmental skills and generates curiosity. 

Researchers have also found that signing to your baby may decrease the amount of tantrums he/she may have as a toddler.  This is because signing makes communication between you and your child easier, and creates a more positive interaction.  Signing specific gestures allow your child to be able to make a request without crying and therefore decreasing the amount of frustration.

One mother shared that she saw the benefits of signing to her child when she went to put a clown doll in bed with her 16-month-old.  Her child signed "afraid" to her mother who then realized that the clown was actually the source of her fears, not the solution to them.

Interested?  Here are some websites and articles you can check out:
Baby Sign Language
Signing Baby
MSNBC Baby Sign Language Article
MayoClinic- Is Signing Beneficial?

Have you used sign language with your children?  Have you found it to be beneficial?  Let us know what you think!

Resource: http://www.signingtime.net/pdf/st/STResearch_Summary.pdf

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