Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Do I Do When I Don't Know What to Do?

Picture recognize the perfect Signing Smart Opportunity...your baby is happy and're poised to insert a great concept into play time and then *breaks squeal*  *car crash*  your realize you don't know the sign for what you;d like to label!

Now what?

Do you break the continuity of play time to go look up the sign? (No way!) Do you give up on taking advantage of this Signing Smart Opportunity? and just wait for the next one? (You could, but you don't have to!)

Think about it this way...when you're telling someone a story about your day and you can't think of the word you want to use, what do you do?  You probably substitute a different word or describe the object you're talking about.  We actually do that pretty naturally in our native language.

Here's an example:  Mr. I. is 3. On a recent trip to a local zoo, he had his first carousel ride and LOVED the experience.  The next time we were there, he wanted to ride again, but just could not remember what it was called.  The conversation went something like this:

Mr I:  Mommy, I want those animals.

Mommy:  We'll see all the animals, Buddy.  Let's go this way first.

Mr. I:  No, I want to go on the animals.

Mommy:  We can't touch these animals, Bud.  They might hurt us.

Mr. I.:  No, Mommy.  The animals that bounce.

Mommy:  Ah!  Do you mean you want to ride the carousel?

Mr. I:  Yeah!  The carousel!


I didn't happen to use any signs in that conversation, but I certainly could have!  (Where/what signs would you insert?)  But, Mr. I.'s experience with Signing Smart paired with the innate desire to be understood helped him re-word his request until he got his point across.

Now, let's go back to the scene at the beginning of the post.  *old fashioned VHS rewinding*  Take a deep breath, and remember the options you have.  For now, use a generic sign you know along with the spoken word for the concept you want to highlight.  Keep this new concept in the back of your mind and look it up later.  It will probably come up again.  (Do you remember the post about repetition?)  SUCCESS!

If you've learned the 4 Keys to Signing Smart Success, you've go the tools you need.  Don't let yourself panic in the moment because you don't know/can't remember a sign.  You know what to do.  You've got this!

If you haven't learned the 4 Keys to Signing Smart Success yet, what are you waiting for?  These simple, successful, research-proven strategies for signing with your infant or toddler are perfect for any of the special people in a child's life - parents, grandparents, extended family, teachers, caregivers, and more!  (Ask me about the beginner series of classes!)

Did you learn the 4 Keys to Signing Smart Success, but feel like they no longer fit the needs of your talking toddler or preschooler? It sounds like it's time to shift your point of view on those strategies and continue using American Sign Language to support your child's spoken language growth and conceptual development.  Ask me about the advanced workshop!

Above all, take a deep breath and remember the words of Benjamin Spock: "Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do."

No comments:

Post a Comment