While most parents dine with their children every night, only half of them chat with their kids regularly, and the conversations are mostly about school work, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a recent study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The study also revealed that students whose parents chat with them about school life tend to fare better in Chinese, English and Mathematics subjects, according to Sky Post.
The study was based on interviews with about 15,000 primary one, primary three and form three students, as well as 13,000 parents, and an analysis of the results of the students’ Territory-wide System Assessment examinations in 2015.
CUHK educational psychology professor Hau Kit-tai said the study found that regular conversations with parents can help students increase their scores by two to three marks out of 100.
Hau said chatting can help ease stress and increase motivation for students to perform better.
It would be better for parents to use such occasions to bond with their children and know them better, rather than just to ask them about their grades at school.
While 85 percent of parents do dine with their children every day, only 53 to 64 percent of the parents would engage their kids in small talk over dinner.
Florrie Ng Fei-yin, an associate professor in educational psychology at CUHK, said it is important for parents to chat about things of interest to their children, even if it means talking about video games, Headline Daily reported.
She urged parents to pay extra attention to the quality of their conversation with their children, and not just ask if they have finished their homework.
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