Parents who don’t have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with their children are urged to mark Monday, 25 September on their calendars.
That’s when the Counselling Centre is celebrating Family Day: A day to eat dinner with your children.
The Centre will be providing an evening of fun and enjoyment for many of the families who currently participate in counseling, said a press release from the Centre.
‘It will be an occasion for embracing parent empowerment, with communication games as well as a family meal, a time for focusing on family cohesion, strengths and unity which in turn can assist with the prevention of substance use and delinquency,’ the release said.
Youth and Family Therapist Susanne Clements said that staff at the Counselling Centre hope that Cayman will consider recognizing the fourth Monday of every September as a national day for reminding residents to nurture, protect, support and strengthen our family units.
‘We invite each and every family in Cayman to celebrate Family Day with us in your own homes, at your own family dinner tables,’ she said.
Ms Clements further advised that regularly eating dinner with your children offers other benefits, including emotional and self-esteem development and the strengthening of bonds and beliefs in the importance of family.
In 2001, the National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University launched Family Day as an annual event, taking place on the fourth Monday of each September.
Since 1996, CASA’s research indicates that the more frequently children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal substances.
Worldwide there is a growing concern for young children of the future; as technology evolves, they are increasingly exposed to adult concepts, but with less and less supervision, their chances of becoming successful adults diminishes greatly. A strong family unit is therefore an important protective factor that can assist the development of children everywhere, the release aid.
International programmes have been developed to assist children that may be at risk of delinquency and/or substance use. The main goal of these programmes is to unify families by assisting with relationship building, communication, cohesiveness and the development of pride. They also focus on empowering parents to add structure within the family unit: eating dinner with the family is one of the ways that this is accomplished.
To learn more about Family Day visit www.CASAfamilyday.org
If you feel that attending counselling may be beneficial to your family please do not hesitate to attend the free and confidential walk-in services Monday through Thursday, 9am to 4pm at the Counselling Centre, 3rd Floor, West Wind Building.