Giving up too early and too easily is the single biggest reason that your baby fails to sign. Let’s face it, learning to speak is passive. If we don’t talk to our kids, someone else will, or they’ll pick it up eventually from the television or the radio. The question is not whether or not your baby can learn sign language; the question is whether they will learn it from you, or not at all. In order to be successful, you must stick to the program and continue to model signs for your baby. You’re right thought, it’s not as easy as talking to your baby or doing nothing at all, but it’s not all that hard either. You’re only going to get out what you put in, and nothing further. You’ve also probably got a ton of things on the go, dealing with this and that crisis, and you probably work outside the house too, then have to come home to cleaning up messes and feed your family. Then on weekends you have busy family visits and then of course there are diaper changes on top of it all, and on and on. We’ve all got excuses, but the rewards to teaching your baby to sign far outweigh the small cost.
If you’re considering giving up, then take a break for a little while and let your life settle back down before you decide you really want to throw in the towel. You never know, a small break might put things into perspective, and honestly, it’s not going to make much difference to the program or your baby if you take a respite. You can also give your baby some time to mature a little bit more, making them more likely to show results quickly when you decide to pick the program up again. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can also drop a few signs from the ones you are teaching so you can concentrate more on a select few diminishing the work load. Maybe then your baby will pick up a sign or two, and this will re-inspire you.
Maybe you are looking at things from the wrong angle. Are you seeing it as a fun experience and a way to bond with your baby, or are you teaching signs to show your baby off to others? If you are signing as a competition, you are bound to become tired of signing and give up way too early. Signing is not about showing off your child or competing with other parents. Signing is a way to bond with your baby and share with them the beautiful experiences in life. Signing to your baby is not something that is taught, it is something that is lived day after day and becomes a part of what you and your baby does together. It is by no means something that happens overnight especially with a younger baby. Just relax, be patient and let it unfold at its own pace. I promise that you will feel a sense of pride when things start to click with you and your baby!
I must say that having taught my son to sign, that I couldn’t imagine spending those preverbal months without communicating with him. I learned so much about him and his personality through signing that I wouldn’t sell at any price. In other words, baby sign language, and what it did for me and my baby, is truly priceless. I’m certain that if you stick with it, you’ll feel the same way. Look forward to that feeling, it’s closer than you think.