Monday, March 5, 2012

Working Parents and Signing




Working parents sometimes ask me whether they can take advantage of the Baby Signs® Program because they are away from their baby for a good part of the day. The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Even children in full-time care spend significantly more time with their parents than with outsiders. Who is it, after all, who provides the evening meal and bath, cuddles to read a bedtime book, responds to middle-of-the-night calls for help, and spends weekends dealing with every kind of need?

In fact, signing is a real gift to working parents because it makes the time you do spend together even more peaceful and satisfying. For example, signs work great during those hectic early-morning dressing and eating routines and can also be particularly helpful at the end of the day to reduce feelings of frustration that can arise so easily when everyone is tired.

Speaking of being tired, don’t forget that the sign for “sleep/bed” can be a huge help by enabling babies to actually let parents know that they are tired and ready for sleep. Being able to communicate such an important message is a real boon to both parent and child because everyone avoids the chaos that often ensues when a child moved into the overtired realm.

In short, by clarifying your baby’s needs, signs help mealtime, bath time, and bedtime routines, as well as middle-of-the-night encounters, go more smoothly. They help you reconnect and share your experiences after a long day apart and help turn typically stressful times into warm and precious moments. Whether you’re a working parent or not, signs make day-to-day life a lot more fun for everyone.

Happy Signing (and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook)!

Linda

Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
and
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis
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