Pathways asks community to have family dinner for national observance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 18, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Pathways Regional Prevention Center is joining thousands of communities nationwide to celebrate Family Day- A Day To Eat Dinner With Your Children.

Family Day is a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce substance abuse among children and teens. Family Day was created in 2001 by the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and celebrated on the fourth Monday each September.

Research by CASA consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families; the less likely they are to smoke, drink and use other drugs. In addition, the conversations that go hand-in-hand with family dinners help parents learn more about their children’s lives and better understand the challenges that children and teens face today. Family Day promotes regular family activities to facilitate parent-child communications, reminds everyone of the value of parental engagement and encourages parents to make family dinners a regular feature in their lives.

Regardless of a teen’s gender, family structure or family socioeconomic level, CASA research finds that teens that eat dinner with their families often are more likely to do well in school, be emotionally content, have positive peer relationships, have healthier eating habits, have lower levels of stress, be bored less often and be at lower risk for thoughts of suicide. The research also finds that teens that have dinner with their families two or fewer times a week are more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana and engage in other risky behaviors.

Pathways RPC reminds everyone that “Parent Power” is the most potent and underutilized tool to prevent children from using substances and engaging in risky behaviors. Use your “Parent Power” and make a date with your children for dinner on Sept. 27 and make family dinners a priority.

A Family Day Parent Toolkit can be downloaded at https://www.casafamilyday.org/themes/FamilyDay/pdfs/parent_toolkit.pdf.

Pathways RPC provides alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention and suicide prevention services in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan counties. For more information, call 606-329-8588, Ext. 4099.