Family Time is a Vital Way to Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. For families, especially fathers, who are not able to be home as often, the COVID-19 pandemic may have presented an opportunity to spend additional time together. As a father of one college-aged daughter as well as two in high school, I have been grateful for the unexpected extra time spent with them. A recent Harvard study has found that 70 percent of fathers said they are feeling closer to their kids during the pandemic, and more than half said their children are opening up and sharing more about their feelings with them.

PDFNJ recently unveiled the Silver Lining Stories campaign that asked New Jersey students in kindergarten through eighth grade to submit positive stories or “silver linings” they have discovered during this time at home. The campaign aimed to showcase these positive aspects students have experienced with their families. NJTV took the opportunity to talk to some of the children who submitted stories and share their experiences. Just as in the Harvard study, children found many positive things about the additional family time.

Capitalizing on this additional family time can be a vital way to increase open communication with your kids. One of the cornerstone messages at PDFNJ is that parents play an important role in ensuring that children lead a drug-free lifestyle, and family time and communication are key in preventing substance abuse. Research done by the Partnership has shown that children who have regular communication with parents are 67 percent less likely to be involved in substance abuse than children who have little or no communication. 

If you are looking for ways to talk to your kids, our 15 Minute Child Break program was established to inform, encourage and empowers parents, grandparents and educators about how to communicate effectively with children about drugs and alcohol abuse and misuse. We have adapted the program to be made available either as an interactive 30-minute Zoom webinar or a prerecorded presentation. A PDFNJ Coordinator can assist you in sharing the event with your community, school, business or faith-based organization as well. To host this virtual event for your community, please click here.

We hope that you all have a happy Father’s Day, and are able to spend the day with your families in a way that is meaningful to you. Please be sure to visit our website for access to the Silver Lining Stories, 15 Minute Child Break and all of the PDFNJ virtual initiatives.

Stay safe and well.

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