April 10, 2010

Finding the Time

Posted by Kristi at 10:06 AM
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Many parents often wonder, "when will I find the time", when it comes to starting sign with their children. Between diaper changes, feedings, play groups, and a slew of other "new parent innitiations" there never seems to be an available time to sit down and teach signs.

The truth is, if you are looking for a perfect time during the day to teach a sign, it's when you are busy doing all those other things. The natural tendencies of signing with children makes it easy to fit it into the day. Think about it, when you teach your child to wave bye-bye do you sit him/her down and practice it? No, you teach them when it makes sense...when someone is leaving! Likewise, the perfect time to teach your child to sign "eat/food" is when you are sitting down to eat; teach diaper when you are changing diapers; and don't get me started on all the opportunities to teach signs during a play group!

Many parents worry that it will be too time consuming to learn sign themselves in order to teach it to their children. That's the great part about it...you don't need to! Your children aren't expecting you to carry on in-depth conversations in sign language; they just need one sign. So here's a tip: before you go out for the day, think about the things you are going to see and find out the signs for those things. Taking a Zoo trip? Learn to sign Monkey, Lion, Butterfly, etc... Taking a trip to the park? Learn to sign Tree, Swing, Slide, etc... There are great on-line resources out there if you just want to learn a sign quickly. I really like http://www.aslpro.com/

Taking the time to learn even just a few signs will open a door of communication between you and your baby that you never thought possible. Babies really are very intelligent. We, as parents, are the ones missing out if we don't make the effort to communicate with them.

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