Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Why Family Dinner is So Important? October 19, 2011

Filed under: Youth — Sam George @ 4:30 pm
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Do you have dinner with your family at least few times every week? I know life gets busy. Nobody is around at the same time any more. Everyone keeps their own schedules and eats at different times. But what does it take to do family dinners together? Read on to find why that is important.

It is not just about gulping down food or learning table manners. But dinner time is proving to be very critical family time and means to pass on values to the next generation.

Dinner time is where we share our values, what happened to us during the day, our hopes and fears. It’s where we ask questions and learn from each other. This is where we become real, vulnerable to each other, support and help each other copes with real life issues. This is where we do life on life from generation to generation.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University finds that teens who have dinner with their parents three or fewer times per week are four times more likely to smoke, twice as likely to drink, two-and-a-half times more likely to smoke marijuana, and four times as likely to say they will use drugs in the future as those who eat dinner five to seven times a week with their parents.

These findings mirror the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, which is the largest longitudinal study ever done on adolescents. This study has some amazing statistics. Of twelve to fourteen year olds who don’t experience family dinners at least five days a week, 14 percent report drinking more than once a month. That’s kids twelve to fourteen. But for those who have family dinners, it’s cut to 7 percent! Also, 27 percent of twelve to fourteen year olds who don’t have regular family dinners say they think about suicide, compared with only 8 percent of those who do eat with their families. Among seventeen to nineteen year olds, 68 percent without the influence of family dinners have had sex, versus 49 percent of those who have had family dinners.

Take time to have dinner with your family tonight!

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Parents more Active in Raising Teens January 2, 2008

Filed under: Family,Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 10:23 pm
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Parents of teens are more involved in their children’s life today than 10 years ago. A new US census study reported this new trend. Is this new generation of parents interfering with children’s freedom or children welcoming parental involvement?

For example, in 2004, 47 percent of teenagers had restrictions on what they watched on television, when they watched, and for how long, up from 40 percent in 1994. In 2004, 53 percent of children younger than 6 ate breakfast with their parents every day. That compared with only 22 percent of teenagers who ate breakfast with their parents each morning. Those percentages increased at the dinner table, where 78 percent of children younger than 6 ate dinner nightly with their parents, compared with 57 percent of teenagers. Children 1 to 2 were read to an average of 7.8 times in the previous week of the survey while children 3 to 5 were read to an average of 6.8 times in the previous week. About half of all children 1 to 5 are read to seven or more times a week; 53 percent for 1- to 2-year-olds, and 51 percent for 3- to 5-year olds.”

I am amazed that someone studies families that closely. It never occured, though cominng to think of it is very true, that some parental routines have long term implication of next generations development and future of nations. The study addresses children’s living arrangements, family characteristics, time spent in child care, academic experience, extracurricular activities and more. 

Believe it or not, I know of another study about parenting that asked children if they want more of their parents time with them and majority of kids desired for more parental involvement. Kids need parents and other adults to develop into healthy adulthood. Absense of father or abusive adults cause permanent damage into adolescent psyche that cannot be easily repaired.