"Family Day - A Day to Eat with Your Children": A National Initiative to Remind Parents that What Your Kids Really Want at the Dinner Table is YOU!
Monday, September 24
The Power of Parenting
Whether you’re cooking a gourmet meal, ordering food from your favorite take-out place or eating on the go, rest assured that what your kids really want during dinnertime is YOU! Family meals are the perfect time to talk to your kids and to listen to what’s on their mind. The communication that occurs over the course of a meal is critical in building a relationship between you and your kids and it helps you understand the challenges they face.
Did you know that eating dinner frequently with your children and teens reduces their risk of substance abuse?
Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.
CASA created Family Day — A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™ in 2001, as a national movement that encourages parents to frequently eat dinner with their kids and be involved in their children’s lives as simple, effective ways to reduce substance abuse among children and teens. Family Day is celebrated on the fourth Monday in September.
Family Day is not just for families. It is a day for all to celebrate, including businesses, unions, religious organizations and community groups. The symbolic act of regular family meals should be promoted and celebrated inside and outside the home throughout the year.
Other Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Your Kids From Abusing Substances
Regular family dinners aren’t the only way to help keep your kids substance free. Here are some other important things you can do:
* Set a good example.
* Know your child’s whereabouts, activities and friends.
* Set fair rules and hold your child to them.
* Maintain open lines of communication.
* Surround your child with positive role models.
* Learn the signs and symptoms of teen substance abuse and conditions that increase risk.