The Roundup -

Celebrate Family Day


Engaging in frequent conversations with your children is a proven defense in preventing substance abuse among youth. And when it comes to finding the perfect setting for these important talks, there is no need to go any further than the kitchen table.

Teen surveys conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) consistently show that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to drink, smoke or use other drugs. In 2011, the CASA Teen Survey specifically revealed that 12 to 17-year-olds who averaged fewer than three family dinners per week were four times more likely to use tobacco, more than two and a half times more likely to smoke marijuana, and twice as likely to drink alcohol.

The good news is, the positive impact of family meals has nothing to do with what food is served and everything to do with parents engaging in their child’s daily life, to nurture family bonding and feelings of belonging, and to nourish both the body and the soul. This ritual of gathering at the dinner table is shown to strengthen family ties and create a feeling of “warmth” between child and parent, which in turn, increases a youth’s likelihood of making healthy, substance-free lifestyle choices. (KNOW!, 2011)

With the start of school and busy schedules, this is a good time to sit down together and plan your week. Designate a time every night for dinner, and if you can’t always find time for dinner, breakfast works, too! It is not about dinner, it is about getting together at least once a day to talk and be together. This will improve and continue the trusting relationship you have or need to build on.

Monday, September 22, 2014 has been declared our nation’s official Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children™. Everyone is encouraged to use this day as an opportunity to either begin sharing frequent meals and conversations as a family or to celebrate the fact that you already do!

While it is vitally important to talk often about the dangers of substance use, it does not need to be the topic of every dinner conversation to make a difference. Sometimes it just needs to be lighthearted and fun, where you are simply getting to know your child better.

For weekly conversation starters, check us out on Facebook! Richland County STAND gives a topic and discussion ideas on Thursdays…Talking Point Thursday. And for a lot of ideas including calendars and activities, go to

For more parenting tips and information on classes and the Family Resource Center, please contact Nicole Hackley or Missy Smies at 433-4097.


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