Youth Action

Quality family time fosters open communication

May 18th 2022

How did you spend your last Sunday? Perhaps you spent your time with your friends, studied, or maybe you even worked. Whatever you did, last Sunday was the International Day of Families (May 15th), a day designated by the United Nations to provide an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic factors that affect families.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the Member States of the United Nations are a set of 17 goals aiming to eliminate poverty, discrimination, abuse and preventable deaths, and usher in an era of development for all people, everywhere. Families and family-oriented policies and programmes are vital for the achievement of many of these goals.

Similarly, tools and programmes to enhance family and life skills are also at the heart of evidence-based prevention strategies put forth in the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (which also link to the SDGs through its Target 3.5 “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”!).

DAPC grantee ACCIONA from Mexico is well aware of the importance of family skills and good familial relationships in preventing substance use amongst children and youth. They not only worked with youth from their community but also held workshops for parents and caregivers to enhance their communication methods with their children! They found it interesting that initial workshops were first met with less interest, but gradually parents began to see those open communications with their sons and daughters were crucial in not only building positive and healthy familial relationships but also beneficial in guiding their children and youth to grow healthy and safe.

An ‘Aha’ moment for today: Children who spend more active time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behaviour and substance use. If you didn’t get the chance to be with your family last Sunday, try to get in some quality family time this week!

Thanks to the generous support of the Drug Abuse Prevention Center (Japan).