If there was a tool for keeping your kids healthy, well-adjusted, and drug-free, wouldn’t you want to have it?
Organizers from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse think every parent should have that tool. And that’s why they started a national initiative called Family Day, which is supported by the Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County and other local organizations. Family Day is celebrated on the fourth Monday of September.
Family Day is aimed at sharing with parents what researchers know about successful parenting: that simple acts of parental engagement are key to helping prevent risky behaviors in children and teens.
Family Day started out in 2001 as a grassroots initiative to inform parents about all the benefits of frequent family dinners. It has grown into a national movement to help parents understand the importance of connecting with kids in many different ways to communicate with them and really listen to what they have to say.
As children age, it is vital to keep those lines of communication open, especially during adolescence when they are at risk of engaging in risky behavior including smoking, drinking or using other drugs. And here’s why:
- Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and its consequences.
- Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18.
- Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence, so preventing or delaying teens from using nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.
While there are no silver bullets – addiction can strike any family regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age or gender – parental engagement can be a simple, effective tool to help you prevent substance use in your kids.
Make every day Family Day in your home! Learn more here.