If you’re the type of parents who don’t want to stereotype your baby boy or girl, you might not want to limit their choices to blue things and toy truck for boys or pink and dolls for girls. However, one study has shown that the gender differences you spot between boys and girls are hardwired into them. The research had 18-month boys and girls look at pictures of a vehicle and a doll. Most of the girls picked the doll and many of the boys went for the vehicle.
Raising a Boy
- Boys love motion.
Even baby boys like action, from watching action movies to imitating them. University of Cambridge’s psychologists said that boys love watching mechanical motion than human motion, though. In their study, they made 12-month-old boys look at moving windshield wipers and people talking. It showed that baby boys are better at watching moving objects over people.
A recent study also shows that baby boys are two months more mature in understanding the laws of motion.
- Boys are more emotional than they are stereotyped for.
Some study shows that boys feel more than they are credited for. One study, in particular, showed that even when 6-month-old boys look as unfazed as the girls their age in frustrating emotions, their heart rate and breathing suggest otherwise.
- Boys are fearless.
A recent survey among parents of 3- to 12-month-old boys get startled much less upon hearing loud noise or stimuli compared to girls their age, based on the response of the parents. Another study also showed that when moms show their 12-month-old boys a fearful expression as they’re about to pick a toy, the boys didn’t care much and still went for it. The girls, on the other hand, slowed down.
- Boys like to move.
Little boys walk, kick, squirm, and wiggle more than girls. They like to move so much that one study even showed infant boys are more likely to end up in the ER for injuries. However, this does not mean that they achieve childhood milestones sooner than girls. Usually, they improve their motor skills during their preschool years, during which time they show more physical ability than girls.
- Boys prefer a crowd over individual faces.
They love looking at the faces of people in groups instead of those of individual people.
- Boys tend to struggle with early schooling.
The recent changes in modern education with the acceleration of the pre-K and kindergarten curricula don’t consider the differences in the development between boys and girls. Now, an indoor-based program with more emphasis on visual-auditory learning and academics instead of hands-on learning cause boys to lag behind girls. Boys are slower in developing self-control, attentiveness, and fine motor skills, making early schooling harder for them. Activities that used to help kids adjust to school, such as finger painting, clay work, music, and physical exercise, have mostly been removed from the program. What parents can do is to give both boys and girls the chance to choose their activities.
Click Next to see how it feels like Raising a Girl.