Studies on the relationships between parents and their children have found significant differences between the father-child relationship and the mother-child relationship, including:
* Play patterns. Mum tends to play with her child in a way that encourages her sensitivity, nurtures her and brings the two of them in close physical contact; Dad favours intellectually-challenging play and discussions.
* Attitude to independence. Both parents usually want their child to become self-reliant but around 40% of mothers worry about leaving their child when she starts school, and 75% expect her to cry in that situation. The corresponding statistics for fathers are 5% and 35% respectively.
* Response. Research shows a baby tends to smile and laugh more when she sees her dad, but tends to gaze more when she sees her mum.