Manners Monday: Family Meals are More than Teachable MomentsJules Hirst
During my Bringing Manners Home workshop, I utilize teachable moments for parents to teach their children manners at home. During the module “Family Meals: Table Manners for Kids, Teens and Adults,” we cover proper utensil placement, table conversation, how to properly hold your utensils (after all, if you, the parent, hold them like garden tools what do you think your children are going to do? ) and the difference between dining out and dining at home. We also cover spending time discussing the events of the day.
Did you know that teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week) are more likely to report having excellent relationships with their parents. Also, teens who have excellent relationships with their parents are less likely to use marijuana, alcohol or tobacco.
This comes from CASAColumbia and The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, who in 2001 launched Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children.TM It is celebrated on the 4th Monday in September — which is today, September 24th! This is a day to remind parents that frequent family dinners make a difference!
Now I understand for most families it takes two incomes to survive, or, if you are a single parent, you may not be home in time for dinner. That was my struggle. I was a single mom for 13 years and the hardest thing after driving home in traffic for two hours was leaving my road rage and office politics at the door and giving my girls 100% of my attention, but I knew whatever time I had with them had to be quality time.
Make time each week to have dinner with your family. Not only will your kids learn good manners and develop social skills that will enhance their self- confidence, but they will also be less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs.
Go to CASAColumbia and take the pledge to become a STAR family. S-Spend time with my kids by having dinner together. T -Talk to them about their friends, interests and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. A – Answer their questions and listen to what they say. R – Recognize that I have the power to help keep my kids substance free!
Happy Family Day!!