Boyo is fast approaching 6 months, the time when we can start teaching him sign language. I am hoping that this lives up to the hype. Supposedly babies have the gross motor skills to use signs earlier than they have the fine motor skills necessary to talk. The theory is that the ability to communicate some basic concepts earlier reduces frustrations.
What I love about this is that it dovetails nicely with my general parenting philosophy: teach your child how to solve problems. The first problem-solving tool they have is crying so I try to teach Boyo that I am there to help him solve problems like hunger, discomfort, boredom, etc. But I try to give him the tools to solve his own problems as soon as I can. With this philosophy I try to pick through the theories that are out there and make up my own when necessary. Attachment Parenting is great until it starts interfering with a baby's ability to develop independence.
I also cultivate independence for selfish reasons. I love the book The Three-Martini Playdate. Motopop and I still want to live our lives and have the crazy idea that Boyo will be happier with parent that look out for their own happiness as well as his.