Your baby’s first words are exciting and memorable. But should they be labeled a developmental milestone? If so, how much emphasis should be placed on their speech in relation to their intelligence and growth? And why is it that girls seem to develop language skills sooner than boys? We tell you about that genetic advantage here.
Parents are on the edge of their seats (figuratively speaking) when it comes to hearing their baby’s first words. Will it be ‘mamma or ‘dada’? And then there are those other questions parents have…
- When will my baby begin talking
- Is there something wrong with them because they don’t talk as much as another child
- Is my baby a genius since she can talk so well
Speech development and language skills
Your baby’s first words are exciting and memorable. But should they be labeled a developmental milestone? If so, how much emphasis should be placed on their speech in relation to their intelligence and growth? And why is it that girls seem to develop language skills sooner than boys?
Tell us something we didn’t already know about language skills
A recent report states that evidence points to the fact that a language-related gene, FOXP2, is more highly developed in girls than it is in boys. The report states that the prevalence of this gene in girls over boys is evidence of what we’ve seen for generations…that language skills develop quicker in girls than in boys (in general). In fact, the study reports that there was up to 30% more of the gene’s protein in girls than boys ages three and four.
Parents for generations have been aware of the fact that girls develop their vocabulary and speech skills more quickly than boys, while boys are more motor-skill oriented. The study done on FOXP2 now gives us a name or a tangible reason for what we know.
Using what we know– to develop baby’s language skills
All the knowledge in the world on a given subject is completely useless if you don’t use it to your advantage. In this case, knowing the power of speech your daughters have, it should be your goal to help them develop their vocabulary both in quantity and quality (using words in their proper context). This is done through conversation, reading and listening to music watching educational and entertaining videos.
As for your little boys…don’t count them out by any means. You can and should work on their language skills, too, but do it in such a way that they will be able to relate to what you are teaching. Allow them to use the computer for skills games, placing labels on their tools, trucks and blocks so they’ll see them during play, and read books that promote interaction.