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Even though children sometimes seem to resist it and test the boundaries, they crave routine, according to Dr. Adiaha Spinks Franklin, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital.

In fact, behavioral researchers have said studies show that one of the best places to influence your child’s behavior is at the dinner table.

“Girls are less likely to get pregnant and boys are less likely to be truant from school,” Spinks-Franklin told Upwave in an interview. “Kids have fewer behavior problems all around in school, and there is better communication between parents and children.”

Mealtime is when parents learn about their children’s day, issues at school and help them solve problems in a comfortable and comforting atmosphere. Even when your tween or teen is behaving as if you are the most embarrassing parent ever, the reality is parents are still children’s No. 1 role models, Spinks-Franklin said.

Spinks-Franklin also said in a separate interview with Modern Mom, that it was important to make sure children have a role in the maintenance of the home.

Get Well Wednesday: Children Crave Routine  was originally published on

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