3. And they're one and a half times more likely to get mostly Cs or lower in school. (No one's saying that infrequent family dinners necessarily cause bad grades, but there's clearly some sort of correlation. Try it!)
"The magic of the family dinner comes not from the food on the plate but from who's at the table and what's happening there," explains Elizabeth Planet, CASA's vice president. "The emotional and social benefi ts that come from family dinners are priceless."
That means the food doesn't have to be fancy, or organic, or even homemade. What counts, evidently, is the time spent together around the table. Good grades; avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; closer and warmer family relationships - it's a scientific fact (not to mention plain old common sense) that something as simple as sharing take-out pizza is associated with all of them!
Whatever Happened to Dad?
I've been criticized many times for talking so much about "social issues" when the real issue now, according to some people, is the economy. Well, buckle up, Turbo, because here's a simple, inarguable fact: Every broken, fatherless family has a tremendous economic impact. Common sense is clear: Th e more families can do for themselves, the less they will need from the government. But what happens when there's no dad in the picture?
Here's what Robert Rector, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has to say about that:
The disappearance of marriage in low-income communities is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. If poor single mothers were married to the fathers of their children, two-thirds of them would not be poor...When liberals refuse to talk about marriage and the poor in the same breath, they are guilty of willful neglect of the major source of poverty.
Surprise. Liberals are just fine with that, since one of their goals seems to be getting as many people as possible on public assistance.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, about one in three American kids lives in a home without a dad on the premises. Are you - like me - stunned to hear that? Allowing for exceptions, as in all things, the typical portrait of these children is grim indeed. These kids are five times more likely to live in poverty than kids living with both parents. Th ey have higher rates of delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, and obesity. It gets worse. They have a 125 percent higher risk of suffering from abuse and are twice as likely to drop out of school. You can guess the next stat: Girls raised by a single mother are more likely as teenagers to become pregnant themselves.
Some of you may be inclined to turn away, as if none of this has anything to do with you and your family. In fact, far from aff ecting only the children directly involved, fatherless families aff ect all of us and our descendants. Th e so-called dad deficit added more than $300 billion to the national deficit in 2010 because of welfare payments to moms. Many of these men are responsible—at least, in the biological sense—for two or more single-parent families. Remember Russia in 1917? This is exactly the same problem that the communist regime deliberately created.