I am a nag by nature. I talk too much and explain too much and lecture too much. My children at the ripe old ages of 4 and 6 already are quite adept at tuning me out. I chose to work on this issue in a slow and evolving way by adding a few sign language words into my parenting tool kit.
We did use baby sign language with both children starting at around 9 months and both used it up until around 18 months when both children took to verbal language and never looked back. I loved how baby sign language freed them up to express themselves when they could understand the problem or idea but could not verbalize it. We didn’t use too many signs in those days just the practical ones for our lives, such as: more, all done, up, milk, bath, sleepy, please, and thank you.
When adding new signs into our routine I wanted to be even more selective. I had to think. What am nagging them about? What am even I tired of saying? The good news is that both children use some signs in their classrooms so I didn’t have to teach them too many signs!
The signs we chose were:
4. Wait (Wiggle your fingers)
5. Calm Down
Result: For my daughter, the sign model age 6, these work quite well. She is responsive to the “mommy look” plus sign which I like to employ in public. I also like to use these signs in calm times. Example: Child: “Mommy, can I get a snack?” Me: *Sign for Yes* My son is hit or miss, honestly. If I tell him “No, stop” he is a big fan of replying with the sign for “Yes” and then doing whatever it was that he wasn’t supposed to do. So, as you can see it is not a magic parenting bullet or anything, but it does keep my words down which makes them count more when I do say them!