National Family Week is joining forces with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, to celebrate the seventh annual Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children on September 24, 2007.
Launched by CASA in 2001, Family Day is a national movement that encourages parents to frequently eat dinner with their kids and be involved in their children’s lives. CASA’s research consistently shows that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.
Family Day helps remind busy families of the invaluable role that parental involvement plays in steering children and teens away from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
“America’s drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families,” says Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and president and the former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “Family dinners and the communication that occurs over the course of a meal are critical in building a relationship with your children and to understanding the world in which they live. Parents, what your kids really want at the dinner table is YOU!”
According to CASA’s report The Importance of Family Dinners III, compared to kids who have fewer than three family dinners per week, children and teens who have frequent family dinners are at 70 percent lower risk for substance abuse; half as likely to try cigarettes or marijuana; one third less likely to try alcohol and half as likely to get drunk monthly; and almost 40 percent likelier to say future drug use will never happen. The report also found that teens who have frequent family dinners are likelier to get better grades in school and are likelier to have parents who take responsibility for teen drug use.
National Family Week is committed to strengthening families and believes that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to provide a substance free youth for America’s children and teens. For additional information about Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.
* The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is a current National Family Week partner.