Chief Editor, Baby Sign Language
Special thanks to Misty for her contribution to Nispiros Portal.
Bonding With Twins While Signing
Parents of twins sometimes find that bonding with two babies can be difficult. The extra demands on your time and attention don’t help – it’s hard to bond when you are exhausted. The good news is that teaching baby sign language can help the bonding process…
How can baby signing help with bonding?
Baby Signing is a two-way activity, encouraging communication from parent to baby and back again. Mothers who sign with their babies often report feeling closer to them. Research has found that signing moms tend to notice and appreciate their babies’ efforts at communication earlier than non-signing moms. Many early-years programs teach baby sign language to moms and babies to help build communication and trust.
Signing and bonding with twins
When you are signing with twins, you have a ready-made ‘group’ to sign to – much more fun and often easier than signing with just one child. When you are signing with twins try to relate the signs to activities which really engage your twins’ attention, such as food or play. Giving this additional, focused attention is a great way to encourage bonding.
Appreciation and signing
The key to bonding is appreciation. But for appreciation to happen you need to spend time together having fun. Try to teach baby sing language at times when you are all relaxed, and when your twins are calm but not too tired. Look for ways you can engage them – this is the best way to see their wonderful natures and begin to appreciate their unique appeal and personality. When you are reading stories together, teach each child at a different sign that relates to the story, such as an animal or an action (walking or running is a good sign for toddlers to learn).
Signing for difference
Baby sign language is a great tool for teaching twins about the differences between them. Teach each child their own name in Baby Sign Language. Maybe invent a special sign for each child, to be used between you and him/her, emphasizing your unique and special relationship.
Practice together to bond together
Practice really does make perfect, especially with baby sign language. It’s a good idea to encourage your twins to practice the signs together as well as with you, when they are communicating with each other. A good way to do this is during play when one of your twins wants to share a toy. Teaching your twins the signs for some of their toys will give them the means to communicate this when they think it’s their turn.
Give balanced praise
Remember, as with everything you do with twins, it’s important to give balanced praise. Even if one of your twins is picking up Baby Sign Language real quickly, and the other lagging behind, find a way to praise the more successful twin without making the other feel bad. One way to do this is to be sure to always praise efforts, not results.
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