Signing is pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s not always “easy.” And yes, signing is repetitive and can get tedious or even boring. There I said it! However, the benefits and enjoyment you will get by communicating with your preverbal baby is invaluable. There may be times when you will be tempted to give up, but doing so would be a mistake.
If you feel that you might give up then start by re-reading the benefits to signing presented in an earlier chapter. If that doesn’t help, then take a breather and reassess your goals or take a short respite. Remember that after a while, signing to your baby will become second nature and you won’t even notice that you do it. Second to that, I promise that if you give up on your baby, they’ll never learn to sign. Parent’s giving up too early is the single biggest reason that a baby fails to sign. You might be worried that you aren’t doing something right, but if you are following this guide, even generally, your baby is going to start to sign soon enough, so just keep at it. Above all, don’t bother comparing your progress to someone else’s. Every baby is different and this isn’t a race.
Some sage advice is to just completely ignore other baby’s progress especially if you have close friends with babies of similar age. Parents are competitive by nature and often compare each other, and it’s sometimes hard not to feel inadequate when someone else’s baby took to signing fast than yours. Don’t you worry though, signing will eventually come for your baby and might be just around the corner – you just never know! If you are constantly being bombarded with criticism and suggestions from other parents about what you are doing wrong, or even that signing potentially has negative consequences, then just tune them out. If that’s not possible, then just avoid them altogether. These people are just trying to sabotage your efforts.
If you really feel that you might drop signing, then try refocusing on the steps to signing and revel in the process rather than the results. Life isn’t about what will happen tomorrow, it’s what’s happening right now. Refocus on signing as part of everyday life rather than as an educational exercise that must be done – because after all, it doesn’t, it’s a choice. If you have started signing when you first brought your baby home and it’s been a long 10 months without results, now isn’t the time to throw in the towel. In fact, now is the time to ramp up your efforts, as you are just about to be rewarded! Keep signing regularly and consistently as you following the rest of the basic rules to signing, and you’ll see results soon enough. In the meantime, just enjoy your little baby for what he is and share this wonderful world with him.