That makes perfect sense if you consider a report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. In the report, the center recommends 10 steps parents can take to prevent substance abuse, including these three:
- Be caring and supportive of your child. Parental praise, affection, acceptance, and family bonding -- as perceived by children -- are all associated with a reduced risk of substance use.
- Open the lines of communication. Cooking together gives parents and children time together to talk and share thoughts and stories. "Communication doesn't start when your child is 17," says Ross Brower, MD, deputy medical director for the Weill Cornell Medical Center. "It should start when your child is 3."
- Eat dinner together regularly. Involving your kids in the kitchen is a big stepping-stone to getting them to appreciate family meals. Because of challenging work, school, and sports schedules, many families struggle to sit down to even one daily meal together. But you can start by maximizing weekend opportunities to eat together.
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