Celebrating the sacredness of family

By | August 19, 2009

Research conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has shown that there is a consistent correlation between family meals and whether or not children become involved in the use of these drugs. The number of meals with family per week does make a difference.

Children having five or more family meals together a week were much less likely to use these drugs than those who had less than three a week. It’s very simple: The more you interact and connect with your children the more you are able to stay involved in their lives. And it lets them know that they are loved, cared about and cared for.

Family dinners are a wonderful way to do this. It’s a time to communicate with each other. To find out what is going on in their lives and the challenges that they are facing. Otherwise, they go elsewhere to get what they are not receiving at home.

To promote parents frequently eating dinner with their children, CASA began the national program, “Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children,” in 2001. This year Family Day will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 28.

To support and to help celebrate this day, the Office of Family and Married Life and The Compass are inviting families to be involved in a special way, too.

How? First, plan a meal as a family for Monday, Sept. 28. Second, share your favorite mealtime tradition or memory of a regular (non-holiday) family dinner and tell us why it is your favorite.

All families with children ages 18 and younger are invited to participate. Invite your children to share their favorite memories and traditions, too.

You can send your mealtime tradition or memory to me at the following address by Monday, Sept. 14: Diocese of Green Bay, P.O. Box 23825, Green Bay, WI 54305-3825; e-mail: [email protected]

Or go to The Compass Web site, www.thecompass news.org, where this Family Day article will appear. At the end of the article you can enter your favorite meal tradition or memory in the comments section.

Why participate? Many of your stories will appear in the Sept. 25 issue of The Compass. Families will also be randomly selected to receive a special gift. And finally, it will be great fun.

Scieszka, Ph.D., is family and married life director for the Diocese of Green Bay.

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