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Newsletter: August 2015

Transition Time: How to Handle Beginnings and Endings

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As hard as it is to believe, the back-to-school ads are telling us that it’s time to start waving goodbye to summer fun and ushering in school year schedules. Whether your household greets the return to routine with groans or cheers, the fact is, transitions can be hard on all of us.

But the end of one thing and the beginning of the next are a part of life, and working through routine transitions together as a family can help keep anxiety levels low and morale high. In fact, research shows that both kids and adults who have regular family dinners show lower incidence of depression and anxiety than their non-dinner-eating peers. So keep those dinners on the calendar — they’re one of the best things you can do to help ease the re-entry to “reality!”

This month, as we muse on beginnings and endings, we wanted to take a moment to invite you all to participate in a very special project with The Family Dinner Project and our friends at the Harry Potter Alliance. A powerful example of building a beautiful new beginning from a painful ending can be found in Esther Day, an annual celebration of the life of Esther Earl (you may know her as the real-life inspiration for the character Hazel in “The Fault in Our Stars”). Each year on August 3rd, Esther’s birthday, people around the world perform acts of love for one another in honor of her legacy.

We’re teaming up with the Harry Potter Alliance to spread the mission of Esther Day this year, in the form of a #familydinnerforward challenge. Participants in the challenge will be entered to win a gift certificate to the online shop at the Harry Potter Alliance website. Learn more about #familydinnerforward for Esther Day in our “Fun” section below and visit our page on the power of dinner and the power of love.


In the back-to-school rush, this quick recipe for a customizable Breakfast Tostada is a perfect solution to busy mornings or evenings!

Breakfast Tostadas »



Make dinnertime fun and meaningful with our special #familydinnerforward campaign for #EstherDay.

Read more »

See our Esther Day video »




Our conversation starters for August are all about beginnings and endings.

Ages 3-7

What was your favorite thing you did this summer? Why was it your favorite?
What is your favorite part of the school day?
What is something you are waiting for, or looking forward to, right now?

Ages 8-13
If you could freeze time so things never had to change, would you do it? Why or why not? At what moment in your life would you choose to freeze time?

What’s the hardest thing about beginning something new?
What are you most looking forward to about a new school year (or fall)?

Ages 14-100

Albert Camus said, “In the depth of winter, I learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” What do you think he meant? Can you connect this to your own life?

Endings aren’t all bad!  Can you think of an experience when an ending was positive?