If I’m being honest, before I had children I always thought teaching babies sign language was elitist and kind of ridiculous. Then I had my daughter. We taught her a few signs like “more” and “all done.” It was cute to see her do the hand motions with a big smile on her face. I still wasn’t 100% sold on the awesomeness of sign language. Until we taught her the sign for “help.”
I remember talking with one of my good friends about the increase in whininess at age 1. My daughter all of a sudden seemed to understand more, but she didn’t quite have the language to describe what she wanted. And so often she made all of her wants seem to be her needs. The result = she often whined and gave me this look that said “Mom help me! Don’t you know what I want.”
This is when I decided to teach her “help” in sign language. It tried for about a week and she didn’t seem to be catching on. So like any determined mom I gave up (haha). Then all of a sudden one day she was trying to push her shopping cart around our house and it had gotten stuck on a toy. She was motioning her arms up and down and I was thinking “Izzy what are you doing!?” Then I realized. She was signing for help!
I can honestly say this has been one of the most useful signs she knows. I’m not guaranteeing that whininess will stop, but it’s wonderful to see her sign for help instead of constantly whine.
Here is what the adult version looks like:
Here is our daughter’s version of help:
Have you taught your children sign language?
What do you believe is the best sign for toddlers?
Two Resources I Enjoy Related to Sign Language: