Did you know that the more often children and teens eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs? That is why Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children TM was launched in 2001 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
Family Day is a national movement to encourage parents to frequently eat dinner with their kids and be involved in their children’s lives. Family Day will be celebrated nationwide this year on Monday, September 28th.
According to CASA, Columbia University’s report The Importance of Family Dinners VIII, those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than 3 per week) are more than twice as likely to try drugs – including alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription.
The report also found that teens who have frequent family dinners (5-7 per week) are more likely to get better grades in school and to say they have an excellent relationship with their parents.
Family Day began as a grassroots initiative and has grown to become a nationwide celebration. “America’s drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families,” stated Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Founder.
Family Day promotes regular family activities to encourage parent-child communication. It reminds us of the value of parental engagement, and encourages parents to make family dinners a regular priority in their busy lives.
How can YOU join the fun?
Take the Family Day Pledge, promising to have dinner with your family on September 28, 2015 and more frequently throughout the year. The reality is substance abuse can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender—you’ve heard it before—our best defense is a strong offense. While there is no silver bullet, the relationships led by parental engagement fostered at the dinner table can be a simple, effective tool to help prevent substance abuse in our children and youth. Imagine, something so natural being so effective: parent involvement is the most potent weapon in preventing substance abuse among youth!
For more information about how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol prevention, visit our website at www.aliive.org.