What we know to be true is that the smallest and simplest things can change the course of a family’s destiny forever; damage control works in the kindest of ways.

According to statistics, in a report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), teens who do not have dinner with their families five to seven times per week are twice as likely to have used alcohol and 1.5 times likelier to have used marijuana, as compared to teens who do participate in family dinners. The report goes on to say, “With the recent rise in the number of Americans age 12 and older who are using drugs, it is more important than ever to sit down to dinner and engage your children in conversation about their lives, their friends, school — just talk.”

Communication counts, even if the communication is silent, showing up counts. Love wears many faces; a kind moment can make a day, keep a child safe from drugs, or save a life.

Two weeks ago, at our Angels at Risk Program, out of roughly 45 to 50 kids, at least 30–35 of them said in their Note From The Heart to their parents, that their deepest wish, bar none, is always and truly to spend more time with their parents unless… they were wishing for a new iPod, skateboard, curfew time or friend.

What we witness in our Angels at Risk program with kids who have the mildest of infractions, starting at the middle school age, is that early intervention is paramount.

The best story ever would be if families knew that childhood prevention would be priceless.

“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love.” –J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit

By Susie Spain, Founder

<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCoralSpringsTalk%2Fvideos%2F1223426707682333%2F&show_text=0&width=560” width=”560″ height=”315″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowTransparency=”true” allowFullScreen=”true”></iframe>

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on July 10, 2012.

Originally published at medium.com