CULLMAN, Ala. – On Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs officially proclaimed Sept. 28, 2020 as “Family Day” and the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2020 as “Family Week” in the city of Cullman.
“Our children are our future and our greatest asset,” said Jacobs. “I’m proud to proclaim Family Day and Family Week in order to emphasize the importance of strong families to the future of our communities, state and nation.”
According to the Alabama Family Rights Association (ALFRA), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the public and government officials about the importance of equal involvement of both fit parents in a child’s life, Family Day is a national movement to celebrate parental engagement as an effective tool to help keep America’s children substance-free. It is celebrated on the last Monday in September each year.
In Alabama, data shows that families have grown progressively weaker. Tens of thousands of children in Alabama see one parent for only 2-6 days a month. Because of this, Family Day in Alabama has evolved into “Family Week” and has expanded to reflect the importance of connecting with children throughout the week/day and making a concentrated effort to implement programs that stress the importance of a child’s needs and the importance of interacting together as a family.
On hand to accept the proclamation from Jacobs were ALFRA State President Kenneth Paschal and ALFRA member and Cullman County attorney Kalif R. Green.
“I have known Kenneth and have admired his leadership with ALFRA for several years,” said Jacobs. “But I’m glad to meet Kalif today! It’s great to know that we have a local ALFRA member working to encouraging parental involvement in Cullman County.”
ALFRA encourages citizens to observe Family Day and Family Week by spending time with their families and, as Paschal explained to Jacobs, even something as simple as sharing a meal together as a family can have a positive effect on children. Paschal and Green gave Jacobs a list of “conversation starters” parents can use to engage with their children.
These suggested conversation starters include questions like:
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
- If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- What was the nicest thing you did for someone else today? What was the nicest thing that someone else did for you today?
- How would you get out of a situation where you were offered alcohol by your friends?
- If you could choose a new name for yourself, what would it be?
- If you observed a friend of family member texting while driving, what would you do?
Scientific data indicates that when both parents are actively involved in a child’s life, the outcome is measurably improved. Children spending significant time with their parents and family members decreases the chances of youth suicides, school dropouts, juvenile drug abuse, teen pregnancies and incarceration. Research shows that children with hands-on parents are far less likely to exhibit risky and disruptive behavioral problems.
This is an important community and state initiative to remind parents, communities, and leaders, that a child whose parents are not engaged and involved in their upbringing and care is a child “at risk.”
ALFRA and the City of Cullman ask that everyone shows their support for children and family Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 and any time during the week of Sept. 27.
To do this, families can do an activity together such as:
- Organizing a community block party
- Hosting a potluck at church
- Playing games that include the family
- Eating dinner as a family and using conversation starters
- Enjoying a movie night at the park or library
These activities will remind everyone of the precious nature of childhood and our responsibility as adults to protect and encourage our children.
Photos of families enjoying time together can also be posted on social media using the hashtags #MyFamilySelfie and #FamilyDayAL20. ALFRA encourages everyone to also feel free to share photos on the Family Day Facebook Event Page (www.facebook.com/events/1041283002994780) and to “like” the Alabama Family Rights Association Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ALFRA1997) in order to stay informed of announcements and events.
Remember, parental engagement matters!