This Monday is a day to celebrate eating dinner with your family. Most people know it's a good idea and it can bring family members closer together. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University points out, "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."
Leader-Herald columnist Anita Hanaburgh wrote an article last year describing the value of her own experience eating dinner with her family. In addition to learning manners, she wrote, "we learned about listening, giving and receiving. We learned about life. I learned what it was like in my older sister's high school before I went there. I learned what the doctor thought of my grandmother's heart. I had input into what flowers got planted next to the porch. I learned to be quiet sometimes and to share at others. We all learned to accept each other and accept the food that was brought to the table. We learned to help with the cleanup."
She then asked rhetorically, "was it the meal that was great, or was it the being together?"
But eating dinner with your family has proven benefits beyond all this. As CASA's website states, "The more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs." Don't miss this simple opportunity to have such a powerful impact on your family's well-being. Visit casafamilyday.org/familyday/ for some great ideas, including how to be a family-day star. Make sure to click on "Tools You Can Use" for tremendous resources, including a 29-page parent toolkit with fun recipes, activities, conversation starters and useful information.
Let's get back to enjoying family dinner together.
HFM Prevention Council