Reclaiming Family Dinners

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Teen addiction is a very real problem. Whether your child is binge drinking with friends, smoking, “vaping”, experimenting with K2, marijuana, or hard drugs, parents should be aware of the short and long-term effects that addiction poses on their children. It is a truly dangerous path to start down at a critical stage of their physical, social, and emotional development. In response to the risks of teen addiction, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse encourages parents to engage and spend time with their children in order to reduce the risks of substance abuse and other self-harming behaviors.

Try Reinstating Family Dinners

Parents are therefore encouraged to have dinner with their children. This is based on the common sense theory that when children spend more quality time with their parents, it reduces their risk of substance abuse.

Family dinner sounds simple enough, right? In reality though, as kids get older, as they have their own lives, and as parents are busy with work commitments, it is not that unusual that families don’t eat dinner together. Or even if a family does eat together, smart phones and television screens serve as a distraction that gets everyone’s undivided attention.

With that in mind, we encourage the following ideas:

  • Parents can reinstate a tradition of family dinners. Start with a commitment of having a family dinner once a week, schedule it, and create a no-excuse expectation that everyone shows up.
  • Make an event of it. Let your children help choose the menu, shop for ingredients with you, and cook with you.
  • Outlaw screen time. Again, the idea here is to spend quality time with your family and to engage each other in conversation. Distractions like phones and televisions really stand in the way of interpersonal conversations with one another.

New Direction Family Law

Your family is important to you. We recognize and appreciate this, and it drives our attorneys to provide strong legal representation. At New Direction Family Law, our legal team is smart, experienced, and compassionate and will work hard to serve your interests. If you need legal guidance to move forward, contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us through our website.

Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law

New Direction Family Law
(919) 719-3470