7 basics of communication (without words)

I could go all existential and give a 7 word meme like everyone else, but I am not going to say “ I promise to love you forever..” or anything silly like that. I actually understand the point of this daily post, and I like the idea of breaking down language.

My husband has studied American Sign Language, he has a certificate in it, from Berkeley City College. I am proud to say that as he learned, I learned from him, and learned a whole lot about how language broke down. The best part about when he learned this, is that we were also brand new parents. We learned how to communicate with our 6 month old baby, and have him communicate back in sign language.

The basis of communication, would have to stem from basic human needs. Shelter, food and bodily functions. So of course the first “Baby signs” that my son learned were “Milk”, “Food” and “more.”

It saved us so much to know when he was a hungry baby and he was always able to tell us that.

So my first word of 7 will be “food.”

My second word of 7 will be “more.” It helps so much to know when someone wants more food, more love, more drink, more anything. Its a basic human statement that is necessary even in babyhood.

My next word would be “toilet”, which is another baby sign that we taught our son. We also taught him “poop” when he was a baby; can you imagine a baby before talking, communicating when he needs a diaper change?! I had the most amazing experience of communicating with my baby, before he could talk, and it made me appreciate so much about language and the foundations of basic human communication.

The next word that I would include in this list is another baby sign, in fact they will all be baby signs. I say the next important thing is “Want.” its a really simple sign, and knowing what your child wants at such a young age, well it changed our life. I want this I want that, children develop a sense of identity and individuality, when you encourage things that they like and want to do.

Speaking of individuality and identity the fifth word that I would include in this list is “I or Me,” to be able to have a toddler sign a sentence such as “I want more food.” which is what our 6 month old did to communicate, is mind blowing. To have a baby form a sentence before he can even speak; I was so happy to teach him how to communicate, and I still use some sign with him now that he is 5 and speaking fluent english.

I love you” is another sign that is actually one word in sign language. I love the I love you sign, my son and I use it still everyday. To be able to convey to a baby “love” without words, and have them sign it back, its another amazing thing.

I am not sure what other basic needs I would use, I covered love, identity, food and more. I guess the wild card sign I will throw into this list is “Nice”, to teach my son what nice, meant without talking, in just the way that you touch things, be ‘nice’ to dog, be ‘nice’ to me, be ‘nice’ to grandma and auntie, my son also learned “gentle and nice” in signs and it helped a whole lot with his basic interaction with others.

So the 7 basic signs I would use to communicate, even with babies that cannot talk, are Food, More, Toilet, Want, I or me, I love you, and Nice.



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