United Way of Broward County

Op-Ed from CEO - Eating Dinner Together as a Family

Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.
September 22, 2011

Family Day is Monday, September 26, a day to eat dinner together with your children.  Community organizations throughout South Florida, like United Way, are hosting Family Day events simply because we know the conversations fostered at the dinner table help keep our children drug-free. Couple our professional responsibilities with the rush of everyday life and the endless list of “things to do” and a family dinner can easily slip through the crack.   This initiative reminds parents that the long held tradition of sharing a meal together is so very important. Children tell us time and time again that the #1 influence in their lives is their parents. Studies prove families eating together have children who excel academically.   We know too many of our children are tempted everyday to experiment with alcohol and other drugs; they are exposed to a lot of violence, and a myriad of social issues mandating they make tough choices. Without the family dialogue the dinner table offers, it is difficult to keep up with their lives. And, it is important for our children to know what is going on in our lives, too.   Eating dinner together as a family must be on the top of our list. Upholding this long held tradition greatly helps to keep an eye on what is going on in each other’s lives and alerts us when something isn’t quite right. It is simple, enriching and fun!  For more information about ways to get your family together at dinner and Family Day events throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties, please visit the United Way of Broward County’s website at www.unitedwaybroward.org or call the South Florida Coalition Alliance at 800/334-4568.

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