Be thankful for your family

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner. When planning how to spend this precious respite from schoolwork, we teenagers tend to prioritize friends before family. Maybe it’s because we want to avoid the cliché sentimental sharing of what we’re thankful for around the dinner table, or maybe it’s because we’re just trying to avoid getting embarrassed

The value we place on family life has dramatically decreased in the last several decades. Dinnertime used to be the time when family members would discuss their day and laugh the stress away. But studies show that only 50% of families eat dinner together every night in the 21st century. Between keeping up with our schoolwork and hanging out with our friends, it’s easy for families to take a backseat in priority. But that doesn’t mean they should.

Does it really matter though if we’re not able to have quality family time? Yes, it does.

Our families offer us the fundamental cornerstone in our individual development and growth, starting from our childhood until we move out and start a family of our own. Our family members are the first people to sow seeds of self-worth and security in us, yet the number one reason teenagers distance themselves from their parents is they think their parents don’t understand them. But how can parents understand their children if they aren’t given the chance to? Having family bonding time will maintain a healthy communication between teenagers and parents, potentially eliminating the concern that the parent does not understand the teen.

Research shows that children who have dinner regularly with their families generally get better grades, behave better, have better manners, and are less likely to smoke, drink, fall into unhealthy addictions, or have eating disorders. The time they spend with their parents makes them confident and stable. Feeding off of the care they receive from their parents, they feel safe enough to venture out to pursue their dreams and find their talents.

The average teenager may argue with his or her parents, and may not be able to stand their siblings at times, but at the end of the day, our families are the ones who stand by us and support us through everything. They are the foundation of our self-worth, value, and security. Before you plan that outing with friends this Thanksgiving, you may want to stop and consider showing your family that you are thankful for them.