Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family dinner--do you eat with your kids?

This interesting fact just came in an email:

Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are more than one and a half times likelier to use alcohol? This according to the Importance of Family Dinners V, a new report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

It seems like common sense that if you eat with your kids, they'll be less like to use alcohol. But, we all get so busy with work, school, sports, church/synagogue that sometimes....OK many times for some families....it is just easier to drive through. If that is how it works in your family, don't despair. You can still talk to your kids about underage drinking in the car. Use the conversation starters that are on www.thepowerofparents.org to give you some hints.

With my own daughter, I found that time driving in the car with her was the best time to talk. She often told me things that were really bugging her or going on in her life while we were driving somewhere. Just be sure to turn off the TV/game system if you have one of those in your car so you have his/her full attention. Pop chats, as I like to call them, can be very effective.


  1. Congratulations for all you do on many fronts. I can remember in the 1980s where drunk driving deaths were in the range of 25,000 per year. Now it is down to about 12,000. Only a few years ago it was about 14,000. Would that we could report that kind of progress in other areas of public health such as violence in neighborhoods and drug deaths from use and abuse. Again, congrats and keep up the good work

  2. Mostberg...thanks for the encouragement. Please post again when you have a chance!