Sign Anchoring ~ Chris

Sign anchoring is a technique used to test agreement between a babies comprehension of a word and their desire to obey it.  For example, telling a baby to WAIT, and having a baby do so, are two entirely unrelated events (especially to them).  While they might understand your command, they might not be willing to obey it.  Sign anchoring involves repeating a sign and saying the word and then having your toddler repeat the sign back.  If they won’t repeat the sign, they usually won’t carry the command forward.  If they do the sign, but it’s lame and unenthusiastic, then you’ll likely get a similar reaction from their behaviour.

I have anecdotally tested this myself on many occasions and it works because toddlers are not very adept at lying.  This makes sign anchoring an excellent measure of their desires.  Try this for anything you wish.  Sign anchoring even works for desire too.  Try asking your baby if they want MILK.  If they move forward as if they want it, but seem hesitant, ask them to repeat the sign back.  If they won’t, then they probably don’t really want MILK.  You can do this for SLEEP too.  If they won’t sign back, then they won’t go down easily.  Sign anchoring is a preliminary test of their desires.  Try it for yourself.

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