Chances are excellent that you’re a mom if you reading this. In fact, Mom’s are the most common to initiate baby signing. It’s just the way it is. Given this as a fact, you’re going to need some tactics to bring Dad on board so this post is half aimed at Dad’s who are considering signing, and Mom’s who want some help getting Dad started.
First, if you are a Mom, just start signing, don’t worry about Dad right now (or anyone else for that matter). Just do the research yourself, learn some signs on your own, pass on the information briefly to Dad and let them know what you are up to, but don’t bother with giving him any tasks unless he seems willing. The reason for this, is two fold. First, due to the shear number of times you will sign to your baby as you teach them, means that Dad will pick up the signs nearly passively. The second reason is that when baby signs back, and Dad doesn’t know the sign, he’s going to be pressed to learn. Not even Dad can ignore baby signing back. That’s when you’ve got him hooked.
To all the Dad’s out there who think signing is bogus, keep this in mind. Talking is a long way off, clearly understood language is even further away. Signing is a way to reduce misunderstanding and connect with your baby on a more adult level. I understand that parenting can be tedious (and “relentless” as one Dad put it), but singing is a way to connect with baby on a “Dad level.” You wont have to do baby-talk and babble, you won’t have to listen to whining (as often) and you’ll know exactly what baby wants, so this makes being a Dad more like being a buddy – which think all Dad’s can appreciate.
My son’s first sign and spoken word was DAD and I recognized early on that I’d be his primary role model since we’re of the same sex (same-sex parents are always the most important to a child because it’s how they learn to act). If you have a daughter, things will be slightly different, but your little girl will still look to you as their male role model (later in life – *wink). Either way, you need to connect with your little girls and guys to give them the foundation they need to respond to their world in a constructive way.
Baby signing a tool that permits adults to bring children into their world much sooner and with less frustration. It also creates a more meaningful interaction. This is something Mom’s and Dad’s can both enjoy.