By Shira Fogel
Using signs to communicate with your pre-verbal child is one of the best things you can to do to
promote attachment parenting, reduce stress and create a lasting bond with them.
When your baby starts signing, everything becomes easier because they have learned that using their hands to communicate is quicker and more effective than crying or whining.
Here are 3 ways that signing with your baby can reduce stress
1. Are you constantly playing the guessing game with your baby by wondering why they
When you teach them to sign with you, you’ll empower them with the ability to tell you when they are: hungry, needing a diaper change, teething, bored, scared etc. One of my students recently told me: “I want my child to be able to tell me what she needs so that I can meet her needs faster. It’s frustrating not knowing how to soothe her.”
2. You will be able to understand and respond to them much quicker
As language starts to emerge (imagine an 18-month- old child), your toddler is often very
hard to understand while the muscles in their mouths are still continuing to fine-tune
Did he just say “duck” or “truck?” When an undecipherable word is combined with a sign, you are able to immediately interact back with your child rather than try and guess what it is he was trying to say. This, in turn, eliminates a potential opportunity for a temper tantrum based on a communication break-down. Signing saves the day!
3. Boosting the bond with your child
This is quite possibly the biggest benefit of them all! Boosting the bond with your child which, in turn, also creates a greater emotional intelligence. Emotions such as happiness, sadness and empathy are all shaped by how your infant is cared for and nurtured.
Having a strong bond with your baby doesn’t just reassure them, it actually affects their biological systems that help them adapt to stress. Although this process continues to develop as
children get older, these early experiences are essential for establishing your child’s
emotional wiring in their brain. Simply put, teaching your baby how to sign is good for
their brain and overall development!
Shira Fogel began to research baby sign language when her daughter was a baby and too young to talk. Shira’s daughter absolutely thrived with her newfound way of communicating and consequently became a very early speaker as a result of signing.
Shira eventually became certified by a speech and language pathologist and started her own company called Tiny Talkers. It is her vision to spread this knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) with other parents who want to be less frustrated, give their child a gift of communication and have a greater bond with their child/children.