By Maria Lianos-Carbone 

How often do parents sit down and have a long and meaningful conversation with their children? You’d be surprised to learn that one in five parents regularly struggle to have a meaningful conversation with their child, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 parents of school-aged children examined how modern families find time to sit down and communication with one another. The results showed that relationships between parents and their kids can be quite a challenge to create and maintain, as 71 percent of parents struggle to communicate.

Conversations between parents and kids are also too short; 40 percent of parents reported that the average conversation with their son or daughter never goes beyond 10 minutes.

Over 8 in 10 parents (82 percent) say they feel like their child avoids having conversations with them altogether. Almost 1 in 4 parents say their child will often give short answers or even just grunts and noises when they try to talk to them.

Sadly enough, this leads 78 percent of parents to feel like they’re being shut out of their child’s life. And it’s no surprise that 80 percent of parents wish they had more meaningful conversations with their kid. Work and busy schedules are the main reasons that communication between parents and their children is so poor.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Zaxby’s, a food company ironically.

“We wanted to better understand the current landscape of family dynamics and the struggles that our guests may be facing,” said Zach McLeroy, co-founder and CEO of Zaxby’s.

“Food is our business and we are looking for opportunities to facilitate meaningful conversations and quality time for families — whether that happens in our restaurants, in homes or in cars between activities. As the results of this poll show, Zaxby’s is in a prime position to bring families closer together.”

Food can be a great way for families to communication; 58 percent of parents feel that food brings the family together. The survey results show that 53 percent of them happen around the dinner table. In fact, when asked when family time is most likely to occur, dinner came out on top with 31 percent.

Dinnertime is an important time to sit down as a family and talk about the day, or other family matters. If not at the dinner table, when do parents have a regular opportunity to have conversations with their kids?

Originally published at