I won’t deny it has been a long year. A year of change. A year of resilience. A year where some of the time I have felt that all I have achieved is marking time.
Today my son was two. Two is a turning point for many parents. The official start of the toddler years. Renowned for tantrums and tears. For growth and assertion. For language and communication. I no longer have a baby in my home. I have a small, determined, vocal, independent two year old….
I’ve blogged about some of what my small son has shown me over the last year. The importance of signing to underpin his interests and higher level learning. Of meeting needs and of those magic parenting words ‘show me’.
His grasp of language I find astounding. There is much emphasis about a child having 50 words at two years of age. I haven’t honestly bothered to count how many my son has because there are so many but I would hazard guess its around the 200 word mark. And not just random words either – connected sentences of up to 5-6 words with all of his language being functional and in context.
I am not the only parent to experience the joys of signing and the richness of hearing my child’s (advanced for age) speech development. There are those who still believe that a child who is using signing will not learn to speak – but when done correctly, with the right teacher and consistent input, signing is the most incredible parenting tool. I would go so far as to say that it is a must have parenting tool.
My son now uses signing mostly for new words to make sure he has grasped their correct meaning and with people who he doesn’t know well. He signs for emphasis, to make sure that his point or need is being seen and met.
And now we are set for a new adventure into the pre-school years. With confidence in his ability, we rise to meet the challenge.