Study Finds a Third of Families Eat Dinner Together in Complete Silence

Dinner, or any other meal for that matter, in the average suburban home is supposed to be a time for the family to come together, spend some time with each other, and share what is going in their lives. That is, at least, the general belief or notion that has persisted culturally for ages. Alas, it seems “the times they are a-changing” — according to a new survey of 2,500 U.K. parents, a third of families sit in complete silence during meal time.

It seems that many parents just don’t know what to talk about with their kids; three in ten respondents said they struggle to come up with dinner-time conversation topics.

Just sitting down at the dinner table together as a family is a struggle for many as well. The survey, put together by Tex-Mex food producer Old El Paso, found that four in 10 parents don’t even eat dinner at the same time as their children on most days. Additionally, one in 10 never eat dinner at the same time as their families.

All in all, only a fifth of respondents reported eating dinner with their families every night of the week.

“To get the most out of family mealtimes, the table needs to be filled with the happy noise of conversation, chat and laughter. The more we engage, the closer and more connected we feel to each other,” comments psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos in a statement. “And children need to be part of this as it’s a vital part of developing their social skills. There is something truly wonderful about the happy sounds produced by a vibrant family meal.”

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SOURCE: Study Finds, John Anderer