Sign language: why it is increasingly used by children

Sign language: why it is increasingly used by children

Adapting sign language to children could make it easier to communicate with them. (© Comeback Images / AdobeStock)

It’s a trend. More and more parents communicate with their child through signed words. Are you tempted? Here’s what you need to know before you get started.

Above all, know that it is not a language strictly speaking, but signs for the smallest, from the sign language used e.g. usually hearing impaired.

“It’s the same characters, but we only use isolated words, not whole sentences. Keywords everyday life that we sign by reproducing the gesture and of course adding the voice to the spoken word”, he sums up Maria Caoformer LSF (French Sign Language) interpreter turned content creator under the name Littlebunbao.

“For example, you can ask your child, ‘Do you want cake? » by just signing the word “cake”. »

In this concept introduced in the United States in the 1980s facial expressions it also has its meaning: “It comes either to modulate a key word or to provide information; she suggests intensity of emotion and enables the child to better understand adults. »

At what age can symptoms start?

The child begins to register characters around six months. “But at this age they are not able to reproduce. Most start showing their first signs around nine months, then they go away enrich their vocabulary over the course of weeks. »

They will use the sign until they start to improve understand the word. “But that doesn’t stop the first words from coming out,” insists Marie.

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What words to teach your child?

Parents should prioritize simple words which will enable them to understand their child’s needs and emotions.

“For example, it’s not interesting to teach children to say thank you.” Rather, we teach them to express pain, fear, hunger, tiredness, a hug, a pacifier or a pacifier. These keywords will allow you to do just that unlock situations where the child needs something. »

If fifteen words are enough to express the essentials, two are essential to eliminate frustration: “again” and “done”.

Other words refer mainly to important actions and objects, as well as emotions – “rather unpleasant emotions, because that’s where parents come to the rescue” – and people nearby environment. “It allows him to say if he misses mom or dad, to express his need to see such and such a person. »

To teach your baby words, just show him the signs every day, in as many situations as possible, and he will gradually integrate them.

Maria Cao

Is it really useful?

“Parents who implement this practice find that they understand their child much better in many situations says Marie Cao. “Characters help them every day because they unlock a lot of problems. And it gives self-confidence and pride to the child. »

Another advantage: replacement time spent with her child.

“In the meantime, we don’t call or do anything else, yes a moment of complicity where a parent is truly connected to their child. And those quality times are getting rarer and rarer. »

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