The Powell family often enjoys a night out; they say it is a great way to stay connected. KidsMatter kicked off National Family Week with an event called Eating Together Matters, where eight local restaurants donated at least 10% of that day’s sale to KidsMatter in an effort to keep more families connected.
“You’re sitting in a restaurant, you’re talking to each other, you’re having good conversation and good food,” said a Naperville resident, Jennifer Powell.
Managers from the restaurants say they are more than happy to donate and help promote family values.
“It lets families sit down and enjoy dinner with one-another and actually have a mother and father interact with their children and find out how their school day went,” said manager at Basils Greek Dining, Jimmy Petsis.
“I think families get too busy sometimes to see what their kids are doing and see what’s going and hey maybe they need to check on their grades. Are they doing their reading and studying?” said Manager at Braconi’s Pizzeria, William Paus. “It’s important that families spend quality time together.”
IdaLynn Wenhold, Executive Director for KidsMatter, believes the key to a tight family bond is positive communication, but according to Search Institute, 22% of teens say they don’t have positive communication with their family.
“It’s important to try and tune into their interests maybe listen to music with them ask them what they like to do,” said Wenhold. “Kids have a lot to teach and the more we can show interest to what they’re passionate about the more likely they are to want to talk to us.”
As part of National Family Week volunteers from KidsMatter screened the documentary “A Race to Nowhere” at Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Naperville.
Wenhold says the film is a wakeup call to parents that their kids are battling stressors such as peer-pressure, competition, and striving for perfectionism every day.
“It’s so important that we try to instill in our kids from the very beginning a strong sense of self-esteem and self-reliance,” said Wenhold. “When that happens they develop self control and those types of positive character traits that really enable them to know that they’re worth a lot.”
Many parents said the film opened their eyes to what their son or daughter could be going through right now.
“We have had AP classes and last year he did have a lot of stress with his 7th grade AP classes,” said Naperville resident Theresa White. “I think as a family you have to stop and prioritize what you think is important.”
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