A post on the Motherlode blog discusses a recent study that looks at the possibility of hormones affecting the way parents play with their child.
The study found that oxytocin levels at 6 weeks were just as high in new fathers as they were in new mothers and the levels rose over the next four and a half months.
Could there really be a biological basis for how we play with our children? In our house, for example, the differences are pretty obvious. As the primary care-taker, I spend a lot of time with Mr. M. As a result, our games are often quiet – playing with blocks, reading a book. Even our rough and tumble games aren’t really rough. Tickle-fests, catch-me-around-the-table, hide-and-seek and playing with the ball in the veranda is our idea of exciting. There’s a lot of laughter and screaming when this happens, but that is as raucous as it gets.
Mr. R on the other hand, is more physical. He loves to hold Mr. M and kiss him and hug him and fool around. I do that, too, but not when we are ‘playing’. I try to sneak a kiss. Mr. R asks for it, even in the middle of a football game!
High oxytocin levels? What do you think?
* Err. I know that title is misleading. And it isn’t true, obviously. Just having a quick laugh 🙂