Why And How Does Signing Reduce Crying? ~ Chris

Some parents who are considering signing to their babies might wonder how signing can possibly reduce crying and temper tantrums.

This is simple. Signing babies have the language necessary to communicate their wants and needs. It’s been postulated that tantrums are the result of an increase in muscular coordination, coupled with an increase in desires absent of the language with which to communicate this to others. This makes sense, a child who is unable to talk will resort to primitive means of getting their point across. You’ve witnessed this with adults too. An out of control sports coach suddenly and impulsively beings to wail their fists in the air, shout out loud bursts of profanity, throw sticks and even strike the referee or players. This is a person on high emotion unable to control themselves. A toddler is no different, but with time we learn that these types of behaviours, while being a satisfying outlet for our rage, doesn’t agree with other people. Eventually, most of us learn to use language to convey clear thoughts and learn to manage ourselves in more mature ways.

A signing baby is one who has a larger vocabulary and can vocalize their desires more readily. Because signing parents communicate with them directly, they feel heard, even if not always obeyed. Let’s face it, we can’t always let a toddler have what they want, and this is where communication helps. As parents we need to set limits and boundaries and this is why I always say that parents should take the time to say “no” at least some of the time so that your baby is used to hearing it. Remember, just because your baby signs something, does not mean that you need to do it. Parents still need to be the boss and make responsible decisions for their child.

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