Some of the best ingredients for family dinners aren’t items that can be found in a cupboard or pantry. Instead they are found in the laughs, love and conversation that’s served up around the dinner table!
During the time that you spend with your kids at dinner, you are nurturing your relationship, keeping the lines of communication open and connecting with them in ways that will have long lasting effects.
Did you know that research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbiaTM) has consistently found that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs?
Our most recent The Importance of Family Dinners VII report found that compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are:
- Almost four times likelier to use tobacco;
- More than twice as likely to use alcohol;
- Two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and
- Almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future.
Our report also found that teens who have frequent family dinners are likelier to get better grades in school and to say they have an excellent relationship with their parents.
In response to our findings, we launched Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children™ in 2001 as a national initiative that reminds moms and dads that the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is a simple, yet effective way to help keep kids substance free.
Family Day will be celebrated nationwide on Monday, September 24th this year.
Families, faith-based organizations, elected officials, Major League Baseball teams, corporations and landmarks such as the Empire State Building are gearing up to celebrate this year’s Family Day. Mom blogger Amy Roskelley of Super Healthy Kids and dad blogger Eric Payne of Makes Me Wanna Holler are back on board, to share their perspectives of how every day, hardworking parents are able to make time for their families (and keep it fun!)
And we try to keep things fun on our end too! Be sure to check out our Parent Toolkit and our Family Dinner Kit, which includes word games for kids to do while parents are cooking, color-me-in place mats, recipes and games you can play with your kids after dinner too.
Looking for ways to show your support of Family Day?
- Download the free Family Dinner Kit from www.CASAFamilyDay.org
- Like Family Day on Facebook or follow Family Day on Twitter.
- Take the STAR Pledge at www.CASAFamilyDay.org.
We invite you to celebrate Family Day, not just on September 24 but all year round. Any day you can get your family around the dinner table is Family Day! As you plan your Family Day celebrations, make sure to let us know via our Facebook and Twitter pages or e-mail us at FamilyDay@casacolumbia.org.
To learn more about Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.
CASAColumbia is a science-based, multidisciplinary organization focused on transforming society’s understanding of and responses to substance use and the disease of addiction. To learn more about CASAColumbia, visit www.casacolumbia.org.