<oct 2012 parent msg>

Take time to eat with your kids

The many demands on all family members produce conflicting schedules and reduce the amount of time they can spend together. One of the first things sacrificed is sitting down to dinner together. We are constantly running around; checking emails from our phones, running errands, dropping off the kids at soccer practice, and somehow still get dinner on the table. In this busy world that we live in, one of the first things that falls by the wayside is sitting down for dinner as a family. Recent studies are reminding us of the importance of these moments spent with our children. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) survey found that teens who sat down for dinner with their family were less likely than others to smoke tobacco, use drugs or alcohol or have friends who use such substances. So maybe your schedules don’t coordinate to be able to have dinners together five nights a week, that’s alright. Another study published in the Journal of Family and Marriage, documented the fact that it isn’t necessarily the brussel sprouts or broccoli at dinner that make a difference, but how you're using the time at the table to converse with your children. There are many other ways to be able to check in with your children; take an evening walk, shoot hoops, chat in the car, or grab a smoothie together. Whatever it is that works into your schedule make sure that you find the time to chat with your child about what’s going in their life, so they know you are someone that they can always talk to. That’s what makes the big difference.

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The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

320 W. State/MLK Jr. Street

Ithaca NY 14850

www.healthyyouth.org

For more information on-line, go to Links Tips for Families, Parents and Youth Workers