Simply put: frequent family dinners make a big difference.
Did you know that kids who have frequent family meals also have: lower rates of substance abuse, better academic performance, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of; depression, eating disorders, teen pregnancy and even obesity? The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) has surveyed thousands of American teens and their parents to identify conditions that influence the risk of teen substance abuse. Why? Because a child who gets through age 21 without using illegal drugs, abusing alcohol or smoking is virtually certain never to do so.
CASA found that parents have the greatest influence on whether their teens will choose not to use. The 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. Parental engagement fostered around the dinner table is one of the most potent tools to help parents raise healthy, drug-free children. Simply put: frequent family dinners make a big difference.
In effort to support the healthy development of Colchester youth and families, Youth Services is promoting an initiative called “Table Talk”. The campaign encourages more frequent family meals and quality conversations around the table. We are offering free Table Talk jars which include fun, insightful and thoughtful questions intended to spark conversation while eating together, ultimately hoping to open up the lines of communication while keeping the whole family involved. With our fun and colorful Table Talk jars, we also attach a few recipes for the nights when deciding what’s for dinner is a challenge.
If you’re interested in acquiring a Table Talk jar, feel free to stop by our office located at Town Hall. For more information about Table Talk Campaign or where to pick up a jar, visit Youth Services website at www.colchesterct.gov/youth or follow us on Facebook, Colchester Youth Center.
For even more information on the Family Dinner Project-