Just a little bit of a twist on the positive effects of family dinner on the behavior of teens and children.
I have been doing some reading (I do make time) about aboriginal (in its broad sense) healing and wellness. In most “native” cultures healing is a communal event. The more people you bring together at the healing ceremony (particularly if they are family) the more effective it tends to be.
I think there is a real community/family effect to healing (also think of this word in its broadest sense). Maybe this is one of the things that also affects folks when they come together for family meals. There has to be something, because the positive effects of the meals occur even if there isn’t “lecturing” about doing the right things and behaving the “right” way.
Just the “being” with family (supportive people, if you don’t have “real family”) has a positive effect. Maybe that can be enough to teach kids and teens to be “right with themselves” (pono in Hawaiian, told you I’ve been reading) and to “value themselves” so that they don’t take chances and don’t make “bad” choices (or be at least one positive influence). [Disclaimer: there are no absolutes in this world, you can only do what you can do]