I can’t say for certain whether or not Grandma (my mom) was totally supportive of our efforts to sign with our boy, but I will say that once he had reached 20 months, the benefits of signing began obvious even to her. Not all people are opened to new ideas, and usually with age comes a certain level of inflexibility – shall we say. However, Grandma became more and more vocal about the increased ability to communicate that signing permitted.
The most frequently cited reason for “the terrible twos” is a lack of ability to communicate thoughts. However, signing gives babies and toddlers an avenue to express themselves clearly. There are many specific techniques presented in the online Definitive Sign Language course so I won’t get into these now, however, signing can be a huge advantage in quelling toddler blow outs. A signing baby can sign well over 100 words by 18-20 months whereas a baby who is without signs might struggle by with 50 words or fewer.
Picture yourself, emotions running high, inability to feed and cloth yourself or take care of any of your basic desires….with your mouth taped shut so you couldn’t ask for help! I can put myself in those shoes….I’d be throwing a tantrum too!