Smart Baby Sign Language reader, Monica, asked:
How do you handle people who are negative about signing with your child? I have gotten a rude comment implying that I was looking for attention or sympathy by treating my child as disabled. I was floored.Wow! I'm a little amazed, too. I had one or two people in my life who were a little concerned that signing with my daughter would delay her speech. But they were never rude or pushy about it. My daughter doesn't understand that when she talks with people on the phone, they can't see her. She often signs and talks while on the phone, which forces me to "translate" to the other person. At times like this I have gotten little comments, like "That's because you teach her sign language." But seriously, that's the worst.
I'm sorry people have been rude to you. I tried to come up with a rude phrase you could sign to the person. The best I could come up with was FOOL. It kind of looks like flicking snot out of your nose at the person. Look it up on www.aslpro.com. IGNORANT is just not as fun to sign.
Now that I've let my vindictive side shine through (or is that more passive-aggressive?), I have a few real-life scenarios that may help you out, depending upon how well you know Ms. Rudeness:
- Explain that you want your child to be bilingual and American Sign Language is the fourth most used language in the United States (NICD).
- Mention that babies who sign often develop a larger vocabulary and longer sentence length (Baby Signs).
- Invite the individual over to your house and let them see first hand how cool baby sign is. Then ask them to babysit!
- Tell Ms. Rudeness a cute story about how baby sign has improved your interaction with your child.
- Say, "I'm sorry you feel that way," and leave it at that.
- No matter what you say to Ms. Rudeness, vent about it to your baby sign language loving friends (online or off).
Hmm...after reading that list again, I think I might need to go look up some more choice words in baby sign language (ASL).