The Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) is joining forces with CASAColumbia to celebrate Family Day – Be Involved. Stay Involved® on September 28, 2015. CASAColumbia Family Day is a national initiative to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens. Research shows that children with hands-on parents are far less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs.
“As kids get older and their desire for independence grows, parents often step back to give them space – but your kids still need to know you love and care for them, no matter what is going on in their lives. Kids who are bonded to parents who hold healthy beliefs and clear standards — particularly about drug use or alcohol use — are much less likely to get involved in any kind of problem behavior,” says Erica Stanzione, Director of Communications and Partnerships at ASK.
“Every child deserves to grow up healthy and happy with an adolescence that is free from addiction. Parents, one of the best ways you can help keep your kids substance free is to be engaged in their lives – that includes being there for them at dinner,” says Jeffrey B. Lane, CASAColumbia’s Chairman. “The conversations that take place during family dinners give you a window into what your kids are going through and helps you keep the lines of communication open with them.”
Use these conversation starters for a fun family activity that will get everyone talking:
• If you could study anywhere in the world, where would you go?
• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
• What would you do if someone ever tried to offer you drugs?
• Are you meeting any interesting people at school?
• Where should we go on our next family trip, and why?
• Do you believe it is better to flaunt your accomplishments or keep them to yourself?
• What do you think makes a person successful?
Remember, parental engagement matters!
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.
The Alliance for Safe Kids is committed to strengthening families and believes that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to keeping America’s children and teens free of addiction. Use #ASKFamilyDay to show off your plans! For additional information about Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org. For additional information about ASK, visit www.AllianceforSafeKids.org.