boy and girl toddlers
Photo by Eric Peacock

You’ve heard the phrase, “Boys will be boys and girls will be girls.” But have you thought about what that really means? Understanding the biological causes for behavioral differences in children can be very interesting, and may give you a better idea of why your son seems so curious or why your daughter seems so talkative.

All About Interaction

The most noticeable difference between boys and girls can be observed in the way they interact with the world around them. According to researchers, girls tend to gather information from their surroundings based on communication and following social cues from their peers. In contrast, boys learn about their environment through interaction and firsthand experience with the objects they are surrounded by. Understanding these primary differences can explain the characteristics and behaviors of your kids.

Curiosity and Kids

Based on the understanding that young boys learn primarily by interacting with the things around them, it goes without saying that they are extremely curious. If you notice your son picking items up and playing with them, or even putting them in his mouth, it is normal behavior and part of basic development.

Along with the natural curiosity boys have, their visual skills also develop more rapidly than girls’. These visual skills mean that boys may excel in areas that require visual recall or patterns, namely spelling and math. These skills continue to remain strong throughout adulthood, and may eventually impact the career path your child chooses.

Finding a Voice

Contrary to the tactile and visual developmental patterns of boys, girls are much more vocal and have larger vocabularies at an early age. Girls often learn to speak at younger ages than boys, as well. Based on these facts, girls tend to communicate more frequently and learn about things around them by asking. So if it seems like your daughter is asking a lot of questions, or if you hear a lot of baby talk at young ages, chances are she’s just trying to learn! Girls will also begin to notice tones of voice and expressions earlier than boys, allowing them to identify family members based on voice more quickly.

Just a Generalization

It is important to remember that generalizations about child development are just that,generalizations. If you child learns in a different way, it is not necessarily a cause for concern, and it’s likely nothing to worry about. If you do have questions regarding your child’s development, speak with your pediatrician.

About the Author:

This article was written by The Longstreet Clinic in North Georgia, a fully-integrated multi-specialty medical group, offering quality services and healthcare for patients, families and the community.  Our experienced Pediatricians at Longstreet Clinic are compassionate for their patient’s wellbeing and providing the highest quality, personalized care for both well and sick children from newborns to adolescents. 

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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