Poll: Do you talk to your children at meal times?

Family in paper crowns having Christmas meal Family in paper crowns having Christmas meal

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
12:22 PM

One in four youngsters do not sit down and talk every day over a meal, a new poll has said.

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The National Literacy Trust, which conducted the survey, said its research suggests children and young people who sit down at dinner time and chat with their families are more confident at communicating in the classroom.

The Trust’s report, based on a survey of almost 35,000 eight to 16-year-olds, found that 74.2pc talk with their family at mealtimes every day. Others said that they do so a few times a week or less, with 2.9pc saying they never talk over dinner.

Around three in 10 said they spend more time on the internet or watching TV than talking, the poll found, with children who do not sit down for meals more likely to say this was the case than those who sit down for dinner and talk every day.

Almost eight in 10 of those who sit down and talk daily over dinner said they are confident about putting their hands up in class, compared to 69pc of those who do not sit down for dinner.

And three fifths of those who talk over dinner said they feel confident about speaking in front of a group, compared to around half of those who do not sit down for a meal and chat daily.

Those who talk over dinner on a daily basis are also more likely to feel confident working in a team and joining in discussions, the poll suggests.

Trust director Jonathan Douglas, said: “Our research shows just how vital conversation at home is to the future success of our children and young people. We’re delighted to see speaking and listening skills recently restored to the primary curriculum and hope that parents will build upon this at home. Talking and communicating at home, for example at mealtimes, will help children gain the skills they need for a successful and happy life.”

Do you talk to your children over a meal? Does it matter? Vote in our poll or comment below.

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