The Town of New Canaan’s Youth and Family Services has teamed up with other Asset Building Organizations to announce the fourth consecutive April is 30 Days of Family Month in New Canaan.
This April we have joined forces with the Chamber of Commerce, Silver Hill Hospital, The Ram Council, The New Canaan YMCA, New Canaan Cares, The New Canaan Library, The New Canaan Nature Center, Grace Community Church, Grace Farms Foundation, New Canaan Mounted Troop, St Marks, and Kids in Crisis
—to Celebrate Tech Free Family Time.
We know Family Dinner Makes a Difference! Being Tech Free makes a bigger difference-Making dinner a tech-free zone will open things up for conversations and promotes eye contact not icontact.
- Family dinner is an institution.Families that eat dinner together five or more times a week have children 33% less likely to use alcohol or drugs.
- Dinner is a time for sharing.Almost all (93 percent of) parents think conversations at family dinners are important for talking about things happening in their children’s lives.
- Devices aren’t welcome but often have a seat at the table anyway. Even though previous research has found that 88 percent of adults don’t think it’s OK to use a phone at a family dinner, 47 percent of parents said they or a family member used a mobile device at dinner in the last week. Thirty-four percent said they had the TV on for all or most dinners.
The Initiative, now in its fourth year, is inspired by “Family Day,” a national movement that informs parents that the engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free and healthy.
Encouraging families to eat together and spend more time with each other is in line with the 40 Developmental Assets presented by the Search Institute. Additionally, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are:
- Almost four times likelier to use tobacco;
- More than twice as likely to use alcohol;
- Two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and
- Almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future.
This year we have added a tech free family time basket that will make their debut on Thurs April 6 at Gates for 5pm to kick off our 30 Days of Family Initiative. We would love the community to come have dinner with the Ram Council family and other community families. Please leave your cell phones at home or in the car. We will all be tech free and enjoying each other’s company.
tech free family time baskets will be available for families to pick up and utilize at home for dinner or game/movie night:
The NC YMCA Front Desk
The New Canaan Library Children’s room
The New Canaan Nature center Visitors Desk
Grace Farms Community Church Office
Grace farms Foundation West Barn
Recreation Department at Waveny House
Jacqueline D’Louhy, LCSW and Coordinator of Youth and Family Services for the town of New Canaan added, “Unplugging gets families to actually talk to each other—With their voices and spend quality time making eye contact and practicing listening skills! Think about how much teens “talk” to each other electronically. Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the same room but never utter a word to one another. This is hurting social skills and communication, which are essential building blocks for long-term success. We need adults to help our youth model this behavior because we are not the best at unplugging ourselves”.
Please visit http://newcanaanchamber.com/30-days-of-family/ to know more about all of the fun, family activities to take part in this April.
This Event has been made possible by generous donations from Silver Hill Hospital, The New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and New Canaan Youth Services.