·      Lockdown gave parents the chance to have family time around the dinner table. Now 38% believe it is more important than ever to talk to their children

·      9 in 10 children (93%) enjoy their family mealtimes more than ever with 80% saying they look forward to catching up with parents after school

·       95% of UK kids think it is important to make time to talk with their parents, with almost half saying it is what they look forward to the most

Many schools across the UK are nearing half term and for parents and children it is the perfect time to reflect on the first month back in the classroom.

Lockdown was a challenging experience, and no doubt many parents felt a huge weight lift when their children went back to full-time education, but new research has discovered that having to home school for three months was not all bad, with many parents enjoying eating around the dinner table as a family and discussing everyone’s day.

In fact, parents believe their relationships with their children is better for the experience and miss some elements of having their kids around them 24/7 according to McCain, as part of its Nation’s Conversations research series.

The study revealed that family bonds are stronger than ever, with 64% feeling their children spoke more about their feelings during lockdown and that siblings bonded with each other in recent months (28%). For parents too, 24% are now speaking more openly to their partner after spending a greater amount of time together.

Even 61% of children admit they miss spending time with parents now they are back at school and 9 in 10 (93%) look forward to family mealtimes more than ever, with 80% enjoying the conversations over the dinner table with topics including reflecting on the lockdown period as a family (47%), video games and school (32%), the pandemic and ongoing news (30%) and family staycation ideas (28%).

Now, with the approach to the first half term of the school year, 38% of parents feel mealtimes will be more important than ever to talk to their child with 64% agreeing quality conversation is more likely to take place around the dinner table.

The value of family mealtimes has never felt more significant with 30% of parents fearing they are spending less quality time with their children now they are back at school. However, almost half (48%) are determined to keep meaningful conversations going as school closes for the half term holidays.