Monday, September 26, 2011
I was so excited when my little baby girl FINALLY learned how to sign "more." We had been working on it forever, and it was so cute the first day she signed this! Cameras and video cameras were out and it went down in her baby book for sure. (Oh and if you want more info on teaching your baby how to sign, click here)
Fast foward 5 months, she is still signing, but now the sign (putting her 2 fists together) means: "I want that" and "please" and "again" and "give it to me" or "help me get this".
Basically she is telling me she wants something when she signs 'more.' And it has definitely helped her express herself more since she is not verbal on certain things yet.
But now she has reached the age where she thinks everything is her's and that she should have everything in sight! From the kitchen knife as I slice her strawberries to my cup of coffee. If we are eating something in front of her, she wants a bite. If I am putting on my clothes, she wants to wear them, along with my shoes and my long (choking hazard) necklace.
It's a HUGE limit setting challenge these days!
She is not quite understanding that she can not have everything, and it takes a lot of practice, patience and ABC's of limit setting to tell her she 'can't'. I know my husband is probably tired of setting the limits too, "Luna I know you want my fork, but it is not for playing with, you can hurt yourself with it" and then her little tears pour out and a meltdown occurs.
I know it is a short phase, but if any of you can relate, I'm sure you are probably waiting for this phase to pass. It's a tricky age because they understand things now, but they still don't quite get it. You are doing a great job as a parent setting limits, but they are on a borderline of not quite able to follow through. But keep setting them, and they will eventually understand and be grateful that you are giving kind, and understanding limits but also firm so they know that mommy means business.
I have also found that when a meltdown occurs from not getting what she wants, picking her up and giving her a hug works well, and letting her know her frustrations are understood at the same time.
It's hard setting the limits and I also struggle with not saying the word 'no' all the time, and wanting to give in. I am authoritative in my parenting (in the middle between strict and no limits whatsoever) but I am also into the creative side and love it when my child wants to get dirty outside, explore the stereo buttons, play in the puddles or wants to take all of her clothes out of her dresser to play with (aka a big mess of clothes on the floor).
I think at this age it's okay to let them explore, as long as they are safe, and understand the limits: "it's fun taking all of your clothes out and playing with them, but now it is time to put them back inside where they live, it's time to clean up."
Hopefully soon, the 'signs' will move onto words and she will not get as frustrated when she tries to communicate. Until then.......