Time well spent with family.
Surveys have consistently found a relationship between children having frequent dinners with their parents and a decreased risk of their smoking, drinking, or using other drugs. Surveys also found that parental engagement fostered around the dinner table is one of the most potent tools for raising healthy, drug-free children.
Research shows spending time with your children today helps you stay connected tomorrow. Children in families who don’t eat meals together are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Studies have shown the Number 1 way to keep kids from using drugs and alcohol is to eat meals together as a family.
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Talk early, and talk often.
It’s important for parents to be involved and informed. Find ways to reach out to connect with your child, support them, encourage them, and let them know how much they mean to you.
Keep yourself in the picture. Doing things together as a family (preparing a meal, discussing a TV show, playing sports together, etc.) gives you a chance to spend time together and to get closer. Finding time for your children is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile.
Need a little more help getting the conversation started? Visit our Facts for Parents and Facts for Teens pages.
Participate in our Family Time Challenge.
Throughout the month of September each year, to coincide with National Recovery Month, take part in our fun family social media challenge. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has designated September 25 as “Family Day.” Look for special local opportunities to dine out together as a family.
What started out in 2001 as a CASA grassroots initiative to inform parents about all the benefits of frequent family dinners and simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teenagers has grown into a national movement supported by a network of partners and sponsors across the country.
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