Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Signing with Haleigh

     After Haleigh was born I was introduced to a wonderful group of women at a local consignment shop who taught me so many things. They taught me all about baby wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, and baby sign language. When I was younger I use to take out books in the library on sign language because I thought it was amazing and I wanted to learn all about it. So I'm not new to sign language but it's been a while since I've attempted to learn signs. We started with a few basic signs: Mommy, Daddy, and milk. Well none of those caught on, though she knows the sign for milk and can recognize it - she doesn't sign it back. We still occasionally sign mom and dad but she can say those words out loud so I'm not as concerned with her learning them because she can already communicate that with us.
     One thing Haleigh does have down pat is "All done/gone." She's had that down for a few months now. As soon as she's done drinking or eating she'll sign 'all done.' She's just started signing 'all done' when she wants to get down from someone's lap or when we're playing with something and she's done. I think this is a great sign for kids to learn because instead of being frustrated that you can't understand when they are done eating or playing with that toy - they can tell you!

     Two days ago Haleigh signed something I've been signing to her for a week or so, all by herself! She was sitting in my Mom's lap and signed dog while looking at Luckie (our dog)! I was so proud of her! She was signing for Luckie without anyone even talking about Luckie or interacting with her. I wish Tyrone had been there to see it. This is one we'll keep working on with her, although it's hard for me to do because Luckie comes to me when I do the sign.
Sign for Dog
     We don't have any other pets but my Mom and sister have cats. I've been attempting to teach Haleigh the sign for cat. She knows what a cat is and squeals "kitty, kitty, kitty" at a really high pitch when we talk about or see cats. Still a work in progress.
     Another sign that we've been doing since Haleigh has started to eat solids (which was pretty early on) was the sign for eat/food. This is another sign that she understands but doesn't do. I continue to work on this one with her during meals and snack time.
     The sign for drink, is a sign I've only recently started using. I don't want to throw too many new signs at her at once so I've been using it here and there but I've been concentrating the most on the three signs following this one.

    A word I've found is very important for kids to know is more. Can you imagine how frustrating it can be to not be able to explain that you are still hungry or thirsty and not know the words? This week I've been working on 'more' a lot with Haleigh. Instead of just showing her, I've been taking her hands and showing her how to do it while repeating the word more. Although she didn't do it exactly the way I did it, she did put her hands together a few times and said more to me. I was very proud! This is something that she only did a few times while we were working on it but I know once we work on it more she'll completely get it.
     Now what kind of mom would I be if I didn't ask my daughter to say/sign please and thank you after signing "more" and "food." So these are two others that we are working on right now. Sometimes she says thank you but she hasn't signed either yet. Mostly when I ask her to say please she raises her eyebrows and yells MORE at me. A work in progress to say the least.
     That's all that I've been working on with Haleigh - sign language wise but, I am working on teaching the little boy I babysit to sign "bug" for Haleigh. We all call her Haleigh-bug or Bugs, so why not have her name sign be bug? I think it's genius!

     Do you sign with your kids or plan on signing with your kids? Any tips? Game plans? Let me know!

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1 comment:

  1. We've been working on signs as well. A seems to understand eat but like Haleigh, she doesn't do it. I was hoping that if she figures out eat, she'll do that sign when she wants more...but so far no dice!

    I have a video of Jeff saying and doing the sign for Daddy which she watches with fierce intensity...but again, she doesn't do the signs.

    She does seem to have her own way of getting the message across...and she's pointing a lot to things she wants to touch...which kind of blows my mind!