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Stress-reducing Family Traditions

Volunteering as a family is just one way to lower stress and promote bonding.

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Families -- no matter how supportive and loving -- are generally not bastions of peace and harmony. Between the bickering parents, eye-rolling teens, trouble-seeking tots and meddling in-laws, it seems there's often little mental rest to be found. Add to that the pressures and obligations of modern life and you can find yourself with a very frazzled family. Fortunately, there may be an antidote to the stress -- a collective chill pill for you and your loved ones -- and it's as simple as starting and following through on a tradition.

Family traditions can have a calming effect on parents and children, alike -- and research shows that they produce many other positive benefits, like improving family cohesion, fostering stability and promoting social development in children [source: Rubin].

Starting a new tradition is easy enough to do, but if you're looking for tried-and-true events with proven family benefits, check out the examples we've listed on the following pages.

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