There are too many variables to say girls learn this way and boys learn that way, but as long as we are making a few general comparisons of the genders and their language development, there are a few tips I’ve found helpful when teaching girls and boys.
Show and Tell: When teaching a new task, consider showing a boy rather than just telling. Incorporating a three-dimensional factor to the learning experience will optimize a boy’s ability to engage in spatial learning, which tends to be more developed in the mind of little boys
Keep it short: There is no need to sit for long periods of time reviewing flashcards. Keep in mind that girls generally sit still better than boys, so be prepared to take breaks and mix up the ways you foster language development.
Consider Co-ed: Luckily we humans even at an early age strive to meet the highest standards set before us. Learning in mixed environments where girls and boys are present will encourage boys to accelerate their engagement.
We recommend a family storytime. This may be as straight forward as reading to your child, but especially if you have various ages at home this can be very interactive. Encourage an older sibling to write the story down as a younger sibling creates the plot. Then read their story aloud, or act it out as a play. See how many signs you can incorporate into the performance. Signing for babies can be made into a wonderful family affair!
We are bombarded daily with words such as sustainability, carbon footprint, eco-friendliness recycling & up-cycling. The decisions we make every hour will impact the world we leave behind for our little ones. How do we make our green choices?
First we need to understand that one is not better than the other but rather each situation in life demands an evaluation in order to match it with the best environmental practice.
We want the best for our babies now but we also want to leave a better planet. Often parents are faced with decisions that will demand discernment. Let me share a few:
Car Seat. Do we Pick New or Recycled?
This is a no-brainer. A crack, loose pieces or hidden damage could jeopardize the safety of your baby. In the case of car seats safety goes first. Go for a new one.
Diapers. Is it cloth or disposable?
For cost as well as environmental reasons cloth diapers are the way to go. By the time babies are out of diapers the footprint to the environment is massive. With over 7,000 diapers used per baby during the diapering stage we are indeed lending mother earth a hand by cloth diapering.
New Clothes or hand-me-downs?
This is a wonderful way to create community, save money and make a huge difference. Babies wear sizes for a very short time resulting in very little wear-and-tear of clothing items, furthermore the natural wear of baby clothing results in a softer piece. Go ahead give and receive. This is a good all-around green practice worth your time and effort.
By making organic and sustainable selections we are not only protecting our babies from harmful chemicals but we are also often contributing toward local economies and instilling a culture of simplicity in the hearts of our children.
Today is a good day to start on a green baby path. Begin small and incorporate green behaviors one at the time. The world’s greatest changes have been made by the small contribution of many.
The ability to communicate is closely tied to behavior, which is why so many tantrums can be averted by a baby’s ability to sign what they need or want. The jump start that girls take in language learning isn’t just a verbal one.
There are many other facets of development that differentiate our girls from our boys. Learning to optimize these differences can be highly beneficial for both parent and child.
How a child behaves while engaged in learning will impact the speed, quality and results of their intellectual, linguistic and emotional development.
As a newborn, our son was much more interested in Daddy’s voice than Mommy’s. So, I wasn’t surprised to learn that boys hear lower pitched (men’s) voices easier than they hear higher pitched (women’s) voices. Girls are good listeners and more perceptive to tone; you may notice they listen to ‘how’ you say a command before they decide whether to follow it.
With more brain area devoted to verbal functioning, girls are better at sensory memory, the complexities of reading and writing and will even achieve the art of “sitting still” sooner than most boys. Meanwhile, our little boys want to move! They are more likely to move objects through the air and take more risks.
While BSL flashcards may have been great for your daughter, your son may not sit still long enough to go through very many. Try combining with activities babies enjoy – a bath time or dinner time flash card game works well. Let us know how it goes!
This is the first installment on a series of articles on gender differences as reflected in communication and learning skills
We’ve all heard raising a boy is different than raising a girl – and many have made the case for why one sex is easier than another – but gender plays a role in how your baby will develop his or her language skills, too.
Boys and girls develop language at different speeds – the jist being that girls take the jump start in this department. A girl’s hearing develops faster and she is better at understanding language and faster at language processing. Boys and girls use different parts of the brain when performing language tasks, and studies have shown that the language development parts in the brain ‘work harder’ when a girl performs a language task.
So what does this mean for our BSL babies?
First, don’t be discouraged if your boy isn’t picking up sign language as quickly as your daughter did, or if he stares at the babbling baby girls like they have sprouted antennae.
Second, be consistent – repeat, repeat, repeat the signs. Remember you shouldn’t expect results before seven months of age.
Third, Maintain a long-term perspective. Language acquisition is a life-long process; to put things in perspective each sign is a brick that will serve as a foundation for a lifetime of discovery. Signing for babies reduces frustration now, which serves as a basis for a well-balanced adult. Signing creates new neural connections resulting in improved testing performance but most importantly signing allows our babies to feel understood forming a priceless parent-child bond which is equally valuable for our boys and our girls.
Have you noticed language development differences between boys and girls? Share with us via a comment or by liking us on Facebook and joining a community of baby signing mamas with a huge heart for little ones
If you are here on our website you are probably one of many parents, caregivers and educators aiming to learn and implement a baby sign language program for your child or children. You have probably already started and have spotted several friends and acquaintances at the playground or at church signing with their pre-verbal hearing babies.
On a daily basis we get a significant number of questions on our baby sign language Facebook many questions are straight forward and aimed at learning teaching methodology, figuring out what is the best timing and format and finding a supportive community. A few questions however are full of doubt and concern often rooted in misinformation and myths about early language development. Each time these questions arise we take the time to personally address each one knowing that each baby is unique and uniquely important.
Because we know you want the best for your child and you want to give them early communication tools to reduce frustration and increase bonding we want to share with you the most common myths you will face as an advocate of this communication system to appease your personal concerns and equip you with the right responses to advocate with family members, educators and friends that may not have a misconstrued understanding of this method of communication.
Sign Language For Babies Delays Speech
Gesticulation is a natural and complimentary action to speech. Research has demonstrated that Baby Sign Language in fact accelerates the acquisition of oral skills. Babies exposed to sign language will often speak earlier than babies that have not received this type of learning stimulation.
Signing With your Baby is an Illusion of Well-Wishing Parents
Baby sign language often encounters a great deal of incredulity and disbelief. After all it is pretty special and almost miraculous to see a six-month-old baby express a need, want or feeling. However it is proven. Babies sign contextually and communicate pleasure and satisfaction once their need is met.
Baby Sign Language is Fad
The history of baby sign language is almost 100 years old. It has been proven, studied and applied in many cultural contexts always with very positive results in terms of accelerated communication and increased cognitive abilities. Gestural communication is inherent to human behavior. BSL is just a way to optimize its application to enhance the quality of life of infants and parents.
Baby Sign Language is not endorsed by Educational Institutions
More & more, early child development centers, Montessori schools and private caregivers are incorporating BSL to their chore curriculum. A high percentage of university-sponsored daycare centers have been using BSL with infants and toddlers since the 90’s. Most educators with a background in language acquisition consider BSL essential when it comes to early childhood education.
Teaching BSL Takes Too Much Time & Effort
Babies are little sponges. If used contextually and consistently baby sign language will require little effort and will yield quick results. Six to nine old-month babies often learn a sign within two weeks of introduction.
We know these questions will come up again and again as we raise new generations of babies. Please feel free to share this link in your blog, website and with friends and family via email and let them know we are here to provide support, guidance and clarification in all matters related to baby sign language