Anyone who has teens knows, and yes I do, that family dinners can be wonderful for all and they can also be a moment where you want to throw food at your kids. But their importance is vital to raising a healthy, alcohol and drug free kid.
A new report by CASA Columbia underscores just how important the family dinner is to keeping teens safe and away from drug and alcohol abuse.
Teens who have dinner with their families five or more times per week are 2x as likely to smoke cigarettes or marijuana; 1.5X likelier to drink alcohol, and 2x twice as likely to try drugs in the future.
Research comes from The Importance of Family Dinners V, a new report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
"The magic of the family dinner comes not from the food on the plate but from who's at the table and what's happening there. The emotional and social benefits that come from family dinners are priceless," said Elizabeth Planet, CASA's Vice President and Director of Special Projects.
People have been driving this point home for decades - here's one from the 1950s that shows how far we've come.