September 26 is the 10th Annual Family Day, a movement initiated by the National Center on Abuse and Substance Addiction (CASA) at Columbia University. CASA (@CASAFamilyDay on Twitter) encourages families to eat together and cites a Columbia study that finds teens who eat at least five meals per week with their families are four times less likely to try illegal drugs. The statistics are enough to make fathers evaluate their family's meal patterns and consider changes.
What could cause this correlation? Here are a few likely ideas:
- If teens are in school and eating meals at school, those five meals per week are at supper time, which means teens are home and not in as many situations to try drugs.
- Teens are being influenced by their fathers and mothers while eating dinner together.
- Teens feel accountability by having to face their parents over dinner most nights.
If you, as a father, know you can have this kind of influence over your children, what are you doing about it? Are you eating with them as much as possible? You may feel that the kitchen is a woman's place, but this study proves that the dining room is the place for the whole family. So, tonight sit down for Monday Night Football and eat with your family while you watch the Dallas Cowboys!
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