Parenting

The New School Year Is Here: Heading Back To School Differently

January 23, 2024

The New School Year Is Here: Heading Back To School Differently

By Michelle Cole, co-founder of Calmer Kids



This week, many families are shifting gear. The new school year is approaching or has just begun. The final days of the holidays can be a great time to get clear what you really want the next ten weeks of term (Easter holiday countdown is on!), the next four terms and the next year to look like for you as a family

How can this year, the often-inevitable hamster wheel be slowed slightly? How can the daily and weekly activities and choices that each member of the household makes and contributes to be more aligned to a feeling of ease and balance.

The lofty new year, new me (or us!) notion of resolutions gets quite rightly a bad press these days. Neuroscience-based habit research and strategies, such as the approaches outlines in James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’ and Dr Gina Cleo’s ‘The Habit Revolution’, highlight the importance of smaller, tangible, achievable micro habits and steps. In a recent To Be Magnetic interview, Dr Tara Swart Bieber outlined easy to follow ways to integrate habit setting. The key, she describes, is to be really clear on what you are wanting to achieve. The feeling, the state of being. Then also get clear on why this is important to you. For example, if you want to integrate more wellbeing routines in your family day to day life, why is this? Is it about creating connection? Is it about reducing stress and conflict? Maybe it’s a combination of both, or maybe it’s something altogether different.

Perhaps a family activity could be getting really clear on what each person would like to feel and the family values which underpin this. What is a shared family goal that everyone wants to aim for this year? Perhaps it is 20 minutes quality family time together a day, perhaps it’s a smaller amount of time. Or maybe more. It doesn’t matter – what matters is having the conversations and setting the vision of it before the hamster wheel of school, sports and clubs starts again.

Dr Tara Swart also outlines the importance of smaller quarterly goals. Setting smaller, achievable chunks of goals that build up into something more tangible. For example, with fitness, rather than saying ‘I want to get fit’, perhaps it’s starting with the goal to walk 10 000 steps each day and to drink the recommend amount of water. As a family this could look like a Termly Goal. For Term 1, how are we going to create more connection and calm in our home? Some families may even like to get creative and make something to show this visually as a reminder for what you’re aiming for.

Once you’re clear and agreed on a goal, work out is this too lofty or does it need breaking down further? Once it feels achievable, work out what are the tangible steps to making this happen. What does it look like before the term even starts? What preparation might be needed so that you start the term feeling in front? 

Queensland Department of Education has a useful ‘General Checklist’ on their Facebook page with some tried and tested strategies of the important things to remember for going back to school. Brainstorming resources and tools which could help to make the goal more achievable is also important. For families looking to integrate more wellbeing into their home, perhaps a supportive framework such as Calmer Kids Online might be a way to help.

Regardless of what the goal is, and the how of how you will get there, making time for the discussions as a family about your visions for the real new year can be a really good step.

 

Related links:

Calmer Kids Online: Easy to integrate, daily routines for the whole family to do together. Includes the much loved ‘Mindful Monday’, ‘Winddown Wednesday’, ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ and ‘Fun Friday’. As a family experience the beauty of togetherness and personal transformation.

Join today using our House of Bimbi link: Calmer Kids_HOB

EXPANDED Podcast by To Be Magnetic™: Ep. 284 - How To Set Goals, Build Habits, and Do ‘The Work’ on Apple Podcasts