Paternal Bonding Through Baby Sign Language
As a dad with a busy work schedule, I was constantly trying to find ways to make the most of the time I spent with my children as infants. I tried to cut my work schedule wherever I could, but it never seemed like it was enough. Even when I made the effort to set aside some bonding time, I was often at a loss as to what activities to pursue.
I wanted our time together to be valuable—meaning that ideally our activities would be educational as well as fun for the both of us. I just did not know what that activity would be. After careful consideration, my wife and I decided to try Baby Sign Language.
Many experts believe Baby Sign Language could be extremely beneficial to infants and toddlers. So onward we went! What I learned after several months of repetitive signs, was that while my daughter did not yet have the ability for spoken language, she did want to communicate with me! Baby Sign Language soon gave us the opportunity to do so.
Baby Sign Language was the best thing that ever happened to my family. I can honestly say that during those months, I bonded with my children in ways I never thought would be possible. Not only did we learn to communicate with our children, but also the process of teaching sign language brought a greater feeling of closeness.
We practiced signing throughout the day. Although it was sometimes repetitive and frustrating, the first response from our children was overwhelmingly, and more than enough reason to press forward. I can’t describe the joy and how happy it made me when my daughter gave me her first message in sign language. I must say, it was a welcomed alternative to her other methods of delivery. I used to think, like most parents, I would have to wait until my daughter learned to speak before we could truly communicate. Let me tell you, I was dead wrong!
Above all else, the greatest thing about Baby Sign Language is that I finally felt like I was contributing to my children’s development. Instead of being just a spectator watching them grow up, I was able to teach them a skill that made all our lives easier.
Baby Sign Language does not require a great monetary investment, just the desire to know what your infant is thinking and your commitment. I owe the credit for my early bonding and close relationship to the use of Baby Sign Language. In many ways, it made me feel like I was finally a real father to my children and was an important part of their life.
[This article was provided by Josh, a loyal follower of babysignlanguage.com and a daddy. Baby Sign Language provides 100% free resources to help parents communicate with their preverbal child.]
Image: adihrespati at Flickr