Parents going overboard about how brilliant their kids are has been listed in a new survey as being the most annoying topic of conversation around the table at dinner parties.

But hard as it might be to accept, findings indicate that we just couldn’t give two flying fu*ks about how well little Jocasta or Finlay are doing ‘in school’ or ‘on the team’ – not unless we’re their parents that is.

Responding to questions one couple admitted they’d often fantasised about jabbing their hosts in the eye with a fondue fork, every time they had to endure sickly babbling about the academic achievements or rosettes won at Pony Club by ‘their wonderfully gifted children’.

In another example the police were called when a ‘boast-off’ got so badly out of hand that one father ended up hospitalised as both sets of parents vied for supremacy in bragging rights as to whose children were the most perfect.

Psychologist and life coach, Maria Traynor, explains: ‘The suburban dinner party is a behavioural minefield and when conversation flags parents all too often will go to their preprogrammed default setting of bragging about their own kids.’

‘Naturally when they do this but there are others around the table who also have kids, it creates significant risk for competition to escalate which of course can quite quickly lead to potential violence.’

‘That’s why as a way of defusing these potential flare-ups I recommend a little bit of casual swinging instead. It saves so much trouble in the long run and no one ends up getting hurt… well not physically at least.’