CADCA is partnering with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse for their national initiative, Family Day — Be Involved. Stay Involved. Sept. 26. Family Day promotes simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens.
What started out in 2001 as a grassroots initiative to inform parents about the benefits of frequent family dinners, has grown into a national movement that is supported by a network of partners and sponsors. Family Day has evolved to reflect how important it is to connect with your kids at various times throughout the day. 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.
Parents have the greatest power to influence their children—even their teens. Parents have more power than any law, peer, teacher, coach, or any family member to empower their children to make sensible, healthy choices throughout adolescence. The key is being engaged in your children’s lives.
As children age, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open, especially as they begin feeling increased pressure to start engaging in risky behavior including smoking, drinking or using other drugs.
During childhood and adolescence, using alcohol and other drugs can interfere with your child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development and can cause serious and lasting damage.
The earlier and more often an adolescent smokes, drinks or uses illegal drugs, the likelier that adolescent is to become addicted.
Coalitions can celebrate Family Day in their communities by:
- Hosting a Family Day event such as a potluck dinner, barbeque or other family friendly activity on or leading up to Family Day.
- Encouraging parents to pledge to be a Family Day STAR. You can use our Family Day STAR pledge form available at www.CASAFamilyDay.org to collect STAR pledges at your events.
- Writing about Family Day in your newsletter or website.
- Informing parents that they can download the free Family Activity Kit from www.CASAFamilyDay.org, which includes games, tips, conversation starters, and tools they can use with their kids.
- Reading the Family Day blog that has information on how to raise healthy and substance free kids.
- Linking to www.CASAFamilyDay.org from your site.
- Ordering copies of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CASAColumbia, which is a book that helps parents deal with real world situations they face in raising teenage sons and daughters free of nicotine, alcohol and other drug use.
To learn more about how you can celebrate Family Day in your community this September and in your home all year long, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.