National Family Day is observed every year on the fourth Monday of September. It is a day for families to spend quality time together, share a meal to talk about their days and their lives so that they can support each other, and become closer.
There are other holidays celebrating family in the United States and the World, but National Family Day focuses on the importance of families sitting down around the table together to eat.
National Family Day was created in 2001 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Use (later renamed Partnership to End Addiction), the day has the tagline 'Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children'. The intention behind this holiday is to encourage families to eat together and in doing so to fight teenage drug abuse. Research shows that teenagers and children in families that have five or more meals together a week are less likely to abuse tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. In those families who have less than three meals a week together, the children are four times likelier to smoke cigarettes.
During meal times families talk and bond while eating together, promoting a healthy and open relationship between parents and children. Teenagers who feel like they have a support network and can openly talk to their parents about anything are less likely to rebel and fall into harmful habits. At the same time, having some family time gives children the sense that they are part of a team, that they have people to turn to when they run into problems, which in turn will make them feel less lonely.
As a bonus, encouraging young people to help with cooking, setting the table, and helping out with dinner gives them a sense of responsibility and encourages them to eat healthier.
What to do on National Family Day
- The most important way to celebrate this day is to meet with your family and sit down for a meal. Although It's a great day for pledging to have more meals together, there are many other fun ways that you can choose to bond with your loved ones.
- If the weather is nice, plan a day outside to enjoy the sunshine and have a picnic or go swim on the beach. Otherwise, there are a lot of fun things you can do, such as have a family bowling tournament, go to the movies, or watch a live show together. If you plan on staying home, get out some board games, they are a great way of bonding with people.
- If you live far away from your family join them for dinner over a video call and tell them all about what's going on in your life.