5 Habits To Help Your Family Create Happy Moments All Year Long

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The holidays make family bonding time easy. From parties to seasonal traditions, family togetherness is practically baked into this special time of year. But after ringing in the new year, it's way too easy to fall back into busy daily routines and let quality time with loved ones become an afterthought.

One of the most effective ways to combat this post-holiday grind and keep up the happy vibes all year round is to implement habits that get your family together during busy seasons and don't necessarily require much effort or planning.

To help get you started, Romper teamed up with the DQ® brand to brainstorm a list of easy actions that can insert moments of joy into your everyday life. 

Even better? All of the habits listed below are super simple, and are practically guaranteed to result in joyful memories that last a lifetime.

1. Embrace The Device-Free Dinner

Between parents' work schedules and kids’ extracurriculars, having everyone around the dinner table at the same time can sometimes feel impossible. Even if you can’t make it a nightly ritual, shoot for one or two dinners per week, on nights where everyone’s schedules line up.

The food doesn’t have to require hours of prep — even a trip through the DQ® drive-thru will do! But set this time apart by requiring everyone’s attention and presence in the moment. Yup, that means no devices allowed. No phones, no TV on in the background, and definitely no tablets. You’ll be surprised at what eye contact and genuine attentiveness can do for your conversations during these device-free dinners.

2. Surprise Your Family With An Unexpected Treat

Break through the monotony of the week and shake things up by thrilling your family with a surprise pre-bedtime treat. After the kids get ready for bed, tell them that you're going on an adventure, then pile everyone in the car (yes, in your PJs!) to get DQ® Blizzard® Treats — and to make family memories that will last long after the last bite of ice cream.

3. Spend Time On A Family Activity That Everyone Enjoys

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Growing up, I treasured the moments my parents took time out of their busy lives to slow down and do activities with me — whether it was working on a craft, playing a board game, or piecing together a puzzle. Finding an activity that everyone in your family enjoys is a guaranteed way to bond and share the love. It’s also a great way to teach your children the importance of togetherness while fostering their interests early on, no matter if you're making an art mural, writing a story, or dressing up and going on an imaginative adventure.

4. Make Home Movie Night A Regular Thing

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What better way to bring on the happy than curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket and some popcorn while you watch a film? Pro-tip: Alternate between classics and new releases so both parents and kids can be exposed to movies they may not have seen before. And of course, comfy throws and tons of fluffy pillows are an absolute requirement.

5. Make Time To Go Through Your Family History

Whether you're explaining to your kids what rotary phones were back in the day or showing them what you looked like when you were their age, poring over old photo albums with your children is a wonderful way to teach them about their roots. To this day, I love hearing stories about my grandfather’s career in the airline industry and all the different places he traveled. Though he passed away when I was a baby, hearing about his life makes me feel close to him, and I'll always cherish these special storytelling memories.

No matter what form of bonding works for your family, remember that the moments you share today will eventually become part of your story, so make each one count!

This post is sponsored by the DQ® brand.