Saturday, July 6, 2013

Baby Signs with Ms Sharon Agoncillo

Long before our children start talking, they are already capable of communicating. At three months, my daughter Huey already started mumbling words like ah, eh, and uh as if trying to initiate a conversation with me. Since I do not understand what my baby is trying to say, I'd give her a nod or flash a huge smile pretending I understood her. There are also times that she would cry relentlessly for no obvious reason! These scenarios coupled with post partum depression raises my stress level and often leads me into crying in the bathroom. I was not prepared for this!

So I felt really excited hearing about the Baby Signs Philippines. When I first heard about the Baby Signs Party, I thought, I need this. Isn't it great to talk to your baby even before they start talking? Let's put this tiring guessing game to an end!



©2013 Planeville Mom



Baby Signs Party was held last June 15, 2013 at Fully Booked, BGC in Taguig. It was hosted by none other than Ms Sharon Agoncillo-Galang, an Independent Certified Instructor and the Managing Director of Baby Signs Philippines.


Ms Sharon Agoncillo - Galang, Managing Director of Baby Signs Philippines
Photo from http://babysignsph.wordpress.com


QUICK BACKGROUND

Baby Signs, Inc was founded by Drs Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwin. It promotes the use of simple gestures to communicate with babies. Baby Signs was developed specifically for hearing babies and has been scientifically tested and proven to provide positive benefits, not just for babies, but for their families around the world as well for over 25 years.



Whenever I could not stop Huey from crying even after attending to her basic needs (change her nappies, feed her, or cuddle her to make her feel secure), I would doubt myself if I am ever going to be a good mom. At the back of my mind, I would attribute my lack of mom skills to the fact that I am an only child in the family, thus, I never really experienced taking care of a baby. Attending the Baby Signs Party made me realise that kids do not cry to make you feel bad. They do because their needs were not addressed. Their issues unaddressed plus parents not understanding why on Earth the baby is crying is a perfect formula for a frustrated baby and parent. Through signing, a kid's concern is just at the tip of his fingertips! Babies get what they want and parents do not have to deal with a terrible guessing game!


Photo lifted from Baby Signs


I really thought signing are just for babies with hearing disability. I also have apprehensions that it may actually hamper my baby from learning to talk fast. According to Sharon, a federal-funded research found that a 2-year old signing baby has a comparably larger vocabulary than that of their non-signing peers. I was so surprise that Sharon's three-year old daughter described a picture to be "blurry". For a 3-year old, that's a big word! 


Photo from http://t0.gstatic.com



When a baby feel that she has sent a message across through parents effectively responding to their needs, babies develop a sense of pride which lays the foundation to develop self-esteem and self-confidence. These are two things I wanted to equip my daughter with as she can use these when she step out in the outside world. 


According to Drs Acredolo and Goodwyns study, children who signed when they were young have significantly higher IQ compared to kids who do not sign. That's interesting!


I concede to the fact that communication is very essential to every relationship, may it be husband and wife relationship, or maybe friendship to name a few. I believe this also holds true with child-parent relationship. Understanding your baby's needs and attending to them quickly tightens the attachment of a child to the parent. For me, I feel proud whenever I put my baby to sleep when no one else could. To be honest, I did not experience love at first sight when I first saw my daughter. I feel so detached. My love for Huey only grew stronger when she started smiling at me, when she started falling asleep on my shoulders. And now that she is starting to imitate simple gestures and sound, going to work everyday becomes a struggle. She absorbs anything like a sponge that not being with her feels like losing a gigantic ground. I could've been there teaching her things! 

I am slowly teaching her few signs like milk, please and more. I think parents do not have to necessarily follow the standard signs found in books. I believe that we can be flexible and even come up with signs we are most comf'table with. Huey is just four months old, and it's not easy. Repetition is the key! I know its not gonna happen overnight! She can't sign milk yet but whenever I show her feeding bottle and sign milk, she smiles back and boom! I know she's hungry. :)


HOW SIGNING BENEFITS FAMILIES IN THE MILITARY

Being a wife and a mother alone makes my usual day crazy! But my day is crazier when my husband is in deployment. I was never away from my husband for more than a week prior to giving birth. But now that a baby is already in tow, we had to settle in one place which only means being thousands of miles away from him, and that I had to "take charge". This also means missing a lot of baby milestones on my husband's part. 



With the advent of Baby Signing and taking advantage of todays technology (ie., Skype, Facetime), my husband need not to miss anything and may still communicate with our daughter. I am so excited to have a stable internet connection and show my husband how it works! No wonder Baby Signs is supported by our US troops. They even funded intensive research specifically to address issues between a deployed parent and their children. I am just so happy to attend this party not just because I won a dicount coupon at Wonderland :P It made me realise that we, parents, should not wait for our children to communicate to us, we have to start as early as possible. Else we lose a huge ground on our child's early years. 

For more details about Baby Signs here in the Philippines, you may contact Ms Sharon Agoncillo Galang through babysignsph@gmail.com or visit www.babysignsph.wordpress.com. You may also like them on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/BABYSIGNSPH?ref=ts&fref=ts



1 comment:

Debbie Anne said...

I've watched about it in Moments with Glady's Reyes before.
I think its a must for parents. Planning to do it someday. Also, it avoids the child to be frustrated.

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