The first skills to be developed in a child are his or her motor skills. The talking part comes later. During this time, a lot of parents want to know what their kids want. Knowing the needs of your baby gets them to have fewer tantrums. Having less tantrums means that there is more bonding time between you and your baby than time being spent to hush them up. Another good factor that you need to take good note of is that if you and your baby can understand each other; he or she can with other people too. It boosts his/her self-confidence and gives the pre-talking kid the desire to reach out, communicate and learn. The key is to have the kid learn signing.
Sign language for kids doesn’t mean that the pre-verbal child has to be hearing or speaking impaired. It gives them a communication medium that they can use and it would be easier for them since they already have motor skills and eye and hand coordination skills developed. These kills are the requirements to learn this type of communication. Here are a few tips on how to teach your child on signing.
Use simple signs for objects.
Keeping signs simple makes it easier to understand. It also ensures that the child learns it quickly and makes it easier for him/her to use. Assign signs to things that are most often used or things that are done everyday. Things like milk, diapers and food are good examples of the things that need to be coupled up with their own signs. This ensures that when a child needs these things, you can easily respond and cater to that need. For an example the child wants to be fed, he/she can just give you the right sign, then you feed the child. After eating, he can make the sign to get out of the chair and you can get him out; instead of the child crying to be fed and you check what he wants, feed him or her and then he/she cries or kicks just to get out of the chair. Nodding the head is also a one of the best signs to make a child express agreement to a question or any stimuli.
Use simple facial expressions.
Facial expressions can also be used to have the child express his or her feelings with more stress or emphasis. This way, a child may avoid crying and instead just give the right expression to show what he/she feels. Crying is just far too broad and makes it hard to pinpoint what they need or want. Signing makes it more specific and understandable.
Involve the rest of the family, friends and relatives in this task.
Getting more people involved in learning and putting into practice this type of communication broadens the child’s exposure to a lot of different people. This way, they too can help in the child’s development process. It also entices the child to interact more with others and boosts his/her self-confidence. It also gives the child the sense of belonging and acceptance at an early age. Letting the child write letters out or make a signed alphabet makes the child learn to write and spell correctly than most of their peers. They tend to develop interest in reading at an early stage which is good since they absorb quickly and the information that they read or experienced is transferred to their long-term memory easily.
Practice what you have learned with the child daily. Constant and correct practice makes the learning process shorter and efficient. It also gives the parent bonding time while learning.
There are a lot of references in the Internet on how to get your child to learn signing. There are even educational DVDs that cater to learning signing for your baby. Don’t hesitate to check them out and reap the results. Kids taught this type of communication tend to be better students and better individuals as well.