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The Bonding Power of Family Rituals

Scientists have spent years figuring out what you might already suspect: Dinnertime, bedtime, and other daily routines and rituals really do make a difference for your kids.

In a recent study, Syracuse University psychologists reviewed 50 years of research on such family activities as eating together, chores, and before-bed lullabies, as well as family rituals like birthday celebrations and Sunday dinners with extended family.

The findings: Families who reported that they follow these routines and rituals enjoyed some important benefits: better overall children's health, increased marital satisfaction, and less stress.

So whether you and your kids love to snuggle with a book at bedtime or spend Friday evenings eating pizza and playing board games, your own special family-time activities will provide your child with a lot more than just a few hours of fun.