Family dinner

Madeline Levine, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how having a dinner with your family each night helps to keep your family close together
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Family dinner

Very often parents want to know like what’s the biggest bang for their buck, you know, should they get… if they have a choice between the soccer game and getting home for dinner, which should they do? Get home for dinner. And the reason getting home for dinner – and it probably could be lunch or breakfast or putting your kids to bed – but the reason having some time every day to check in with your child is probably more important than anything else is that it’s a declaration of commitment to the family. Remember, if you’re going to see one kid’s soccer game, and you have more than one kid, it means you’re not doing something with one of your other kids or your wife or whatever. So in this very fast paced – you know, earlier is better, more is better – world homes really have to be a haven. There’s tremendous pressures on kids, we know the rates of all emotional problems are on the rise: suicide’s on the rise, depression’s on the rise, anxiety disorder’s on the rise. There has to be some place in your family’s life where the statement is, “Nothing matters more than this family.” So make it home for dinner, you can miss the game.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life, Family Time

Madeline Levine, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how having a dinner with your family each night helps to keep your family close together


Expert Bio

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Madeline Levine, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Madeline Levine, PhD, is a psychologist with close to 30 years of experience as a clinician, consultant and educator. Her New York Times bestseller, The Price of Privilege, explores the reasons why teenagers from affluent families are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems.  Her book, Teach Your Children Well, outlines how our current narrow definition of success unnecessarily stresses academically talented kids and marginalizes many more whose talents and interests are less amenable to measurement. The development of skills needed to be successful in the 21st century- creativity, collaboration, innovation – are not easily developed in our competitive, fast-paced, high pressure world. Teach Your Children Well gives practical, research- based solutions to help parents return their families to healthier and saner versions of themselves.

Dr. Levine is also a co-founder of Challenge Success, a project born at the Stanford School of Education. Challenge Success believes that our increasingly competitive world has led to tremendous anxiety about our children’s’ futures and has resulted in a high pressure, myopic focus on grades, test scores and performance. This kind of pressure and narrow focus isn’t helping our kids become the resilient, capable, meaningful contributors we need in the 21st century. So every day, Challenge Success provides families and schools with the practical research-based tools they need to raise healthy, motivated kids, capable of reaching their full potential. We know that success is measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of the grading period.

Dr. Levine began her career as an elementary and junior high school teacher in the South Bronx of New York before moving to California and earning her degrees in psychology. She has had a large clinical practice with an emphasis on child and adolescent problems and parenting issues. Currently however, she spends most of her time crisscrossing the country speaking to parents, educators, students, and business leaders. Dr. Levine has taught Child Development classes to graduate students at the University of California Medical Center/ San Francisco. For many years, Dr. Levine has been a consultant to various schools, from preschool through High School, public as well as private, throughout the country. She has been featured on television programs from the Early Show to the Lehrer report, on NPR stations such as Diane Rheems in Washington and positively reviewed in publications from Scientific American to the Washington Post. She is sought out both nationally and internationally as an expert and keynote speaker. 

Dr. Levine and her husband of 35 years, Lee Schwartz, MD are the incredibly proud (and slightly relieved) parents of three newly minted and thriving sons.

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