Having older brother 'means talking later'
Older brothers may be damaging their younger siblings' ability to learn how to speak, a new study suggests.
French scientists have discovered that the language skills of under-sixes lag two months behind if they have an older brother, but not if they have an older sister.
The researchers speculate that older sisters are far more willing to talk to their younger siblings than brothers, and so compensate for their parents being less available because they have to care for a second child.
Franck Ramus, a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris, said: "Children with an older brother are, on average, two months behind in language development - relative to those with an older sister or without any older sibling."
The researchers said parents should try to talk to their children as individuals, which would help develop their language skills.
The research was published in the journal 'Psychological Science'.