Are Family Meals a Panacea ?

dinnertime-150x150We are closing in on Family Day, a day which touts the benefits of a family dinner.  I myself have found the benefit of having meals with my children. Sometimes not dinner because of our hectic schedules but a meal nonetheless. There is no magical aura surrounding the dinner table which strengthens family bonds, prevents your child from getting involved with drugs or alcohol or making the honor roll at school. It takes more than sharing food to obtain these things. If not, it would make parenting a snap.

Study after study shows that if you eat dinner with your child at least 5 times a week, he or she do better in school, won’t have a problem with drugs and alcohol and be healthier than those teens who don’t sit down together at the dinner table as often. I truly believe in these studies but they require one additional thing to make them work – parent engagement. As parents, we can use this time to connect with your teens, listen to them, share with them, otherwise all you will have is well fed children.