The challenge that is baby signing – learning a new skill. There are many reasons to sign with your baby, but probably one of the least to be listed is that signing is a great personal challenge. Very few of us speak more than one language, but the beauty of teaching ASL to your baby is that it’s a real living language. That’s right, teaching and learning ASL will turn you bilingual. If you travel anywhere in North America, your hand gestures and movements will be recognized by others.
Think of learning ASL like a form of personal development. Call signing a skill and one you can develop and cultivate from the comfort of your own home. Not only this, but after its mastery, you can teach it to another living person – your baby. You could spend your baby’s early years learning to knit scarves and mittens, but these will only be useful in winter and won’t help beyond retaining warmth. The challenge of learning and teaching ASL are so much more broad and far reaching. Besides, when you knit, it’s just you and yarn – what a yawn. As a signing Dad, I can say unequivocally that it has been great fun to learn to sign with my son and one I wouldn’t trade for any other skill.
Signing is easy too, that’s the best part. It’s easy to learn to sign a word in less than a minute, perfect with a few strokes and apply in a fraction of the time. Signing is as easy as looking up a desired word and doing it. You have all the tools right in front of you so long as you have a good working signing dictionary. Learning ASL is a learn as you go sort of thing which is great. All you need to do is stay one or two signs ahead of your little guy. If you can keep up with a baby – you can teach ASL. Signing is a great way to develop yourself, not to mention all the side benefits you will enjoy as you connect with your baby.