Four Foundations,  Parenting

Mmm… More Magical Meals?

Mormon Family Dinner
Image by More Good Foundation via Flickr

What if there was a single, simple thing that you could do that would help  your children to:

  • say ‘no’ to alcohol and other drugs
  • remain smoke-free
  • maintain or improve their grades
  • stay in school longer
  • decrease their chances of bullying or being bullied
  • and earn more as adults….

You’d do it, right?  Of course you would.

It turns out there is such a thing.  It’s called ‘family dinner.’  Really.

For many years research has shown that there are a number of actions that parents can take that will increase their children’s ‘resilience.’  (Resilience is a way to describe the process of building skills to endure hardship.  It helps kids to make choices that are in their best interest.)  Simply stated, building resilience is a way to increase the odds that our children will remain drug-free, for example, and having dinner together as a family is one of those ‘resilience-building’ actions!

It turns out that 15 minutes of quality communication each  day is a good start.

The 15+ Make Time to Listen…Take Time to Talk campaign (by the National Mental Health Information Center, SAMHSA Health Information Network) has a goal of providing practical assistance to busy parents trying create high-quality conversations with their children.

It’s a pretty simple concept:  parents who talk with their children about what is happening in their lives are better able to provide them with leadership and guidance.  Time Magazine ran a terrific article on the topic a while back.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t come easily or naturally to everyone.  That’s where Make Time to Listen…. Take Time to Talk comes in.  The site offers ideas and free publications to help you get started.  Lots of them.

Take a look…. you can have fun, too!

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