Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Family Day—Have Dinner Together on September 25

The more often children and teens eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, and use drugs. Frequent family dinners also help children and teens by lowering tension and stress at home, encouraging them to confide in their parents, and helping them to get better grades in school.

Help make family dinners a part of your family’s routine:
Start the pattern of family dinners when children are young.
Encourage your children to create menu ideas and participate in meal preparation.
Turn off the TV and let your answering machine pick up calls during dinnertime.
Talk about what happened during everyone’s day: school, work, extracurricular activities, and current events.
Establish a routine to start and end each meal.
After dinner, play a board game, take a walk, or serve dessert to encourage the family to continue the conversation.
Keep the conversation positive, and make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University created Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™ ( in 2001, as a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce substance abuse among children and teens. Family Day will be celebrated this year on September 25, and PTA supports this event. Your family can participate by taking the Family Day Pledge.


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