My son is a typical busy boy, and most days I can’t keep up. He loves trucks, Elmo and Winnie the Pooh. Our days are spent running through the sprinklers, playing in his car, and kicking around his soccer ball. I try and stop after another whirlwind day to really appreciate the stage my son is currently in. His level of understanding, his awareness, and his communicational skills astound me. It seems that over night he has gone from my quiet newborn baby, to a toddler with something to say. Where has the time gone?
From an early age we taught Carter sign language. We wanted him to be able to communicate before he was able to formulate words. After talking about it and doing some research we decided to teach him a few signs. We made sure that when we signed, we were also saying the word so he could relate the sign, the action and the word. We taught him finished, hungry and more. We figured this would make meal time a bit easier if he was able to communicate to us what he wanted. We definitely saw an improvement at meal times, when he was able to start using his signs. This took a lot of dedication on our parts. We started signing at 3 months and made sure that everyone involved in feeding him also signed to him. We knew that repetition was important if it was going to be effective.
Next came Carters first word; dadda. I have to admit I was a bit sad that it wasn’t momma, but was hoping that would be a close second. He was slowly adding new words to his repertoire. And when the time came and he said mom, it was amazing. Fast forward 9 months and he now shouts Mom! Mom! Mom! It takes my breath away every time
As we speak to him, you can see him making the connections. He isn’t only repeating the word but making associations now. When I talk to him he watches me with such awe, as if what I am saying is the most important thing in the world. I know this won’t last so I will enjoy it now.
Having him repeat everything doesn’t come without consequences. How he can pick up a bad word out of a sentence is beyond me. Let’s just say the swear jar is filling up.
So as Carter goes through these different stages I am constantly reminded how fun kids can be. I look forward to the next stage of communication.
Did you use sign language with your children? Did you think it has a positive or negative affect on them?