How can you help your children Shine as they return to school?

Sarah Asuquo, teacher & author of Shine, writes about how to help ease children’s anxieties in the back-to-school period.

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It’s almost time to go back to school and while this may fill some children with excitement, for some kids, this time of year can be very worrying. Getting back into the routines of the school day, managing schoolwork, and handling social situations, are a few of the factors that some young people can find challenging.

Even I, as a teacher, can feel apprehensive at times as the beginning of a new term approaches. So, I’m going to share some tips on how you can help the little ones in your lives overcome these concerns through the messages within my book, Shine.

  • Remind them of their talents and the things that they are good at. There’s so much to learn at school: different subjects and different skills. It can be overwhelming, and sometimes disheartening, for children when they feel like they aren’t as good at something as they would like to be. Encourage them with the message that everyone has something that makes them shine! Whether it’s academic, creative or being a good helper. Celebrate their strengths and empower them to let their own special light shine as brightly as they can while also celebrating the talents of their peers. This can boost their confidence and help with their fears of returning to the classroom.
  • Celebrate diversity. Schools are a beautiful place where children can meet people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. Remind them of the beauty within our differences and encourage them to embrace them. Promoting inclusivity, kindness and unity can help them build positive relationships with their peers and tackle social anxieties.
  • Explore the importance of understanding their emotions. Throughout Shine, when the protagonist feels sad, he speaks to his parents about why he feels this way. They encourage and empower him with the confidence to overcome his insecurities. Often, when children feel like they have a safe environment to share their problems in, they are less nervous as they have a sense of security if any issues arise and are confident that they will receive the support they need.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach and ‘back to school jitters’ are completely normal. In these times of worry, I hope your children can be reassured by the special light within them and be the stars they truly are!

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Sarah Asuquo, author of Shine
Sarah Asuquo, author of Shine


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Shine by Sarah Asuquo and Nadia Fisher

When Kai is bullied for being too tall and having a unique scar under his eye, he begins to wish he was the same as everybody else. With the help of his parents, can Kai learn that the things that make him different are the things that make him special, and let his own light shine through? And will he be able to help his friends, when they share similar worries of their own to him?

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