Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grammies and Papas: Great Signing Teachers

The fact that my twin-grandchildren, Nate and Olivia, are nearing their 4th birthday reminds me how long I’ve been writing this blog! Some of the earliest entries were about them—the frightening image of seeing barely 3-pound babies in the NICU with all sorts of tubes and monitors around them, the magic of holding them when they were carefully lifted from their Isolettes, the miracle of their first birthday when it was truly clear that they would grow up strong and healthy.

And then there are the memories of all the signing we did together: how enchanted Nate was with flowers and would sniff (his sign for flower) wherever he saw them; how Olivia, always hungry, would make good use of the “more” sign; and how they would excitedly sign “moon” and take me outside to see it up in the daylight sky.

The chance to be with them and watch them sign reminds me that grandparents make ideal teachers of signs—whether it be to their own grandchildren or to other children in their communities. The reason is that the experience of raising their own children enables them to recognize how helpful signs are in avoiding the tears and tantrums that arise when infants and toddlers need to communicate but simply can’t.

Grandparents also tend to have the patience and wisdom that come with years of dealing with people of all ages, enabling them to approach both parents and children with confidence and caring. Finally, from their life experiences they truly understand that successful communication fosters love and understanding—a wonderful gift for any grandparent to give--and to receive.

That’s why we are pleased that more and more grandparents are joining our Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructor (ICI) team. Our ICI program enables individuals to set their own hours and work as much or as little as they want, all the time earning income while helping families and childcare centers enjoy all the benefits that signing can bring.

If you are a grandparent or know of one who might make a great Baby Signs® teacher, pass along this link to a video describing our instructor program.

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

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