Why Do Children Stick Out Their Tongues While Concentrating
Some children stick out their tongues while they are concentrating. This is such a common gesture that is mostly goes unnoticed. We have all seen children do this, but why does it happen?
According to experts, children tend to do this between the ages of 5 and 9. Sticking out your tongue while concentrating isn’t a mental or general health problem. Apparently it is a reflex that is produced between language and motor skills.
It is a similar mechanism to the way we make gestures with our hands or face while speaking. Rather than doing this, they stick out their tongue.
When children stick their tongue out, it can be a sign that they’re very concentrated on what they’re doing. It is rewarding to see them so focused on an activity and that nothing around them distracts them. There may be noise, other children playing, music or people talking. But nothing takes their concentration away.
Why do they stick out their tongues when they are concentrating?
Scientists have recently started getting interested in this type of behavior. According to one study, children do this because of the close relationship between language and motor activity centers. The results of the study showed that it is not just about sticking their tongues out but rather about observable patterns.
In order to carry out the research they recorded about 14 children while they were doing different activities. They studied children that were 5 years old, and all of them were right-handed.
The researchers watched the children as they completed exercises that were specifically designed to perform the experiment. The exercises measured different levels of motor skills.
They discovered that this reflex involves fine motor skills. However, they were surprised when they noticed that the reflex appears more in exercises that required more movement. In other words, the children expressed their concentration by slightly exposing their tongues.
The researchers observed that children stick out their tongue on both sides. They also highlighted how often the children performed this gesture as well as how long it was maintained.
Apparently children stick out their tongues with more frequency while doing activities that require less precision. They don’t do it as much with activities that involve fine motor skills.
The researchers were able to explain that this behavior relates to communication. They stated that in most cases, children stick out their tongue on the left commissure; which corresponds to the cerebral hemisphere that is related to language.
Now that you know….
We bet that you know what we are talking about. We have all seen children sticking out their tongues when concentrating, but now maybe we will look out for it more. It is such a tender gesture, and now, also an interesting one.
Observe your child. Find out with which activities they tend to stick out their tongues, and find out how concentrated they are.
According to the studies conducted, this has to do with language. Maybe we are seeing how their brain works. In addition, it is an indicator of what they can achieve. It shows us their capacities are excellent. It is a very simple behavior but science has clarified a series of neurological behaviors that you need to know about and study.
You might wonder why this reflex isn’t seen in adults. Researches explain that sometimes when reacting to something, we realize that we are sticking our tongues out. When we start performing the reflex, we decide to repress it for cultural reasons.
We don’t want other adults to see us doing this. However, it is something that can appear at any time, because it is a primitive reflex that is difficult to eliminate completely.