Family Day is a national celebration of family dinners and a reminder of the importance of spending quality time together as a family. s youth grow and reach their developmental competencies, there are contextual variables that promote or hinder the process. Family dinners are proven to promote these competencies.
The benefits of families enjoying meals together include opportunities to:
- Connect as a family to talk about almost anything
- Cook with your children
- Give your children regular chores, like setting the table or helping to clean up after the meal
While these may sound simple or mundane, they’re vital protective factors that correlate with positive teen health outcomes related to decreased substance use.
A protective factor is often defined as “a characteristic at the biological, psychological, family, or community (including peers and culture) level that is associated with a lower likelihood of problem outcomes or that reduces the negative impact of a risk factor on problem outcomes.”O’Connell, Boat, & Warner, 2009 p. xxvii
You’ll find lots of ideas about family-friendly meals, conversation starters, dinnertime games, and more (like getting everyone to help prepare dinner and clean up afterwards!) at the Family Dinner Project and Family Day websites. Here’s a post (with recipes!) about Family Dinner Day from our Parent Education Workshop, and listen in here for an interview with Bekki Craig of CTC’s Parent Education Workgroup on WHAI about Family Day.