Thanks to Joe Mazza, I learned about a research paper that was just published on the importance of family dinners.
Here’s an excerpt, which I suspect shares results that are not surprising to anyone:
This year’s study again demonstrates that the magic that happens at family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the conversations and family engagement around the table. Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to say their parents know a lot about what’s really going on in their lives, and such parental knowledge is associated with decreased incidence of teen marijuana, alcohol and tobacco use. Family dinners are the perfect opportunity when teens can talk to their parents and parents can listen and learn.
Family dinner is also an ideal time to strengthen the quality of family relationships. Teens having frequent family dinners are more likely to have excellent relationships with their parents. As the quality of teens’ relationships with their parents declines, their likelihood of using marijuana, alcohol and tobacco rises.