Today’s guest post is about communicating with your children before they can even speak. Sharon Rechter is an expert on the topic – she cofounded BabyFirst, the company that produces the I Can Sign TV series.
As a mom of two amazing young girls, I’ve always looked for the latest and greatest parenting trends, tips and tricks. From baby yoga to swaddling to BPA-free bottles – it can all become a little overwhelming. Some of the so-called “must-haves” or “must-dos” fall flat, but others have proven to be life savers!
For my family, signing with my daughters, Noa and Neta, has been truly transformative. I discovered the signing phenomenon when the company I co-founded, BabyFirst, decided to produce a television series called I Can Sign, that helps parents communicate with their children long before they are able to speak. I was surprised to find out how really simple and quick it is for little ones to pick up signs and use them properly. For me, it saved us a lot of frustration and also created a special bond.
Here are a few tips from our child development experts at BabyFirst:
- Try to start signing with your baby any time after they are six-months-old.
- Use common words that are helpful and important such as “more,” “I want” and “I am hungry.”
- Be sure to repeat the sign, and speak it verbally each and every time you communicate the sign.
- Give your child a couple of days to absorb the signs and they’ll learn them just that quickly!
Even to this day, my girls and I use signing as almost a “secret language.” This past spring, my daughter was standing on stage for the first time for her ballet recital and was a little nervous. From my seat in the audience, I signed to her that I loved her. She signed back and smiled, and she knew that I understood, which made her feel better.
Sign language is like any other language, and just as teaching your child a second language develops their communication skills and develops their brain, sign language will provide similar benefits. I hope signing can help you and your family to “talk” with one another even before your baby can speak.
About the Author: Sharon Rechter, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, BabyFirst
Sharon Rechter, along with business partner, Guy Oranim, conceptualized and co-founded BabyFirstTV. In her role as executive vice president, she leads the business development and marketing activities for the company – with a clear passion to bring quality, new educational programming to families of babies and toddlers.
Rechter has a broad background in television programming and recently served as the vice president and head of operations for The Israeli Network (the Israeli television channel in the U.S.). She was responsible for the general management of the network, and focused on areas including business development, advertising and subscriptions. Before entering the television broadcast industry, Rechter headed the strategic planning department at GNS Advertising in Israel where she was responsible for developing strategic plans for a variety of lifestyle brands.
Rechter received her B.A. in business administration from the Arison School of Business and her L.L.B in law from the Radziner School of Law, both at The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.