Sign Language Speaks Through Babies Essay

880 words - 4 pages

Sign Language Speaks through BabiesCommunication between babies and parents has been a problem since the beginning of time. The subtle hints into what a child is thinking, feeling and experiencing every day has become a topic of many discussions and books. In the last few years parents and scientist have reviewed many alternative ways to communicate with babies and toddlers, one of which is sign language. The idea of teaching signs to babies has been around longer than most would expect. We all know what it means when a child holds both arms above their head at your feet. They usually want picked up. However, the real function of signs has not been studied until recently. Sign language makes communication between parents and children easier, gives children self-confidence, and may even improve on a child's I.Q.In reference to teenagers, many parents hear advice from relatives and even on television commercials that now a day communication is the key. This is also true for toddlers. The terrible two's, as they are lovingly called, can be a test for every parent's patience. The problem seems to lie in the lack of communication skills in the average two year old. Many children do not know how to express what they want and need. This usually ends up coming out in pure frustration on the child's part. Sign language seems to be a ventilation system for many children. Children often make up their own sign's long before they are able to communicate. For example, when a child's stomach hurts they may point to their stomach while crying. This lets parents know what hurts. Children often mime the activates of parents as well. They learn in some cases that if they are being told "No!" that they should point their finger as well. This becomes a small reinforcement to learning the true meaning of the word. As parents, we learn what our children's signs mean without out making a conscious effort. However, if the role is reversed and we teach our children the signs the experience changes all together. According to Diane Brady, "Signing not only increases the parents bond and interaction with their babies, it helps reduce a major source of tantrums and stress for infants". (Brady 2000) By teaching an infant the sign for 'eat' that child can easily express when they are hungry. When a child has the proper skills to communicate their wants and needs they can focus on other learning milestones.Self-confidence plays an important role throughout a person's life. As a toddler those issues are still there, just in a simpler way. Most toddlers do not care what social status they have, like many adults do, but they do care...

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