From the Blog
Well it’s that time of year again when the excitement of Christmas is over, the New Year has begun and children are waiting with excited anticipation (let’s hope) for the new school year to start. This can be a stressful time for the whole family – Mums having to let go, children having to settle in to a new group of classmates with a new teacher, and siblings, particularly younger siblings, adjusting to being separated from each other for most of the day. Thankfully this period usually doesn’t last for long and stress can be reduced with the help of the following remedies:
New Year, New School, New Friends:
To help with the transition of settling in to a new school, new friends or a new routine, Pulsatilla has shown to be beneficial in times of significant change. It especially benefits the sensitive child, who is weepy, timid, shy and clingy. It can help them gain confidence and enjoy their new independence. For the child who hides behind Mum’s skirt, consider Baryta Carb. Typically, separation anxiety indicates Ignatia, including homesickness and sadness. Also consider Ignatia if your child has moved away from their friends, or their friends have moved to another school over the holidays. Calc Phos is known as the ‘Student’s Remedy’ – for children who are growing fast and prone to growing pains, headaches, tummy upsets and a whiny, discontented disposition.
In terms of Australian Bush Flower Essences, Bottlebrush and Five Corners are perfect here. Bottlebrush helps with change and any resistance to change, while Five Corners (found in Confidence Charge) helps build self-esteem and confidence. Paw Paw (found in Shake It Off) is another great essence for overwhelm, or consider Jacaranda if your child tends to be noisy, disorganised and calls out in class. Before becoming a Flower Essence Practitioner, I used a blend called Confid for my son when he started Prep, what seems like only a blink ago!
While starting Prep was met with enthusiasm and excitement in the first few weeks, by the third or fourth week I would be confronted by a spontaneous tantrum involving yelling, screaming, hitting, throwing of his school bag and crying - lots of crying! These tantrums would occur just as we were leaving the house and/or as we got out of the car at school. I had never witnessed my child in such a state as he is the child that would fight back tears if he fell over in public, rather than cause a scene. With a three year old and one year old in tow, trooping through the mud and sometimes rain of the wet season, I found myself at a loss on how to deal with him! I was dreading the mornings and my husband and I even spoke about him starting work later so that he could take our son to school, without the little ones and ease him in. But I had one more idea up my sleeve… The next morning as soon as the first indication of negativity or tantruming appeared, I gave him a dose of Confid. Breakfast, getting dressed and out the door went smoothly and I was holding my breath waiting for the explosion…but it didn’t come. Another dose just before getting out of the car, and he walked confidently to his classroom, carrying his school bag and started the day without a fuss!!! Even the teacher commented on how well he went that morning and she couldn’t believe the change from one day to the next! These tantrums appeared again throughout the year when it was sports day, first day of swimming lessons, show and tell days, etc, but I began to identify that this was how his nervousness and anxiety presented itself. Now, I successfully use the Confidence Charge or make a personalised blend to match his emotional state at the time.
If you find your child is easily lead astray or influenced by stronger personalities around him/her, my Confidence Charge addresses one's deep knowing of what is right and what needs to be done. Confidence Charge also aims to build self-love and resilience to assist with reaching one's full potential.
The Nervous/Shy/Sensitive Child:
Some children are exceptionally anxious and nervous about starting a new school year, but Gelsemium can help if the anticipation of the event causes great stress. For example, a child who will benefit from Gelsemium will often ask “but what if I can’t find my friends at lunch?” or “but what if I can’t open my lunchbox by myself?” The simplest of tasks can cause the child great anxiety ahead of time. The child benefiting from Gelsemium generally is very quiet and sometimes withdrawn. While the Lycopodium child can be quite confident and bossy in situations they are comfortable in, like at home, when put in a new situation, they can become easily overwhelmed by expectations and demonstrate low confidence.
Another very effective remedy is Calc Carb in the schooling environment. It can be of use when the child requires time to adjust to change (in routine, activity, etc) and they can become quite stubborn if rushed or not given enough time to finish their activity. They tend to work hard and chip away at their work without complaint.
Shake It Off is for those gentle souls who worry about what others will think and who hang on to everything anyone has said about them - especially if it's negative. Shake It Off will help them move past the worries and fears and feel less overwhelmed and more positive towards social situations and life in general.
ABFE & Learning:
Australian Bush Flower Essences can also be used in relation to learning difficulties or ‘hiccups’. Focus Pocus relates to all aspects of the brain and learning. It promotes clarity and perserverence. Bush Fuchsia, one of the essences in Focus Pocus, can help with co-ordination, speech, reading and all learning skills, including dyslexia. “This is the specific remedy that helps to integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain, as well as the front and back brain. If the hemispheres are not integrated when a child is reading, for example, then she will only see individual words; she won’t comprehend the meaning of a sentence because all she sees is a group of words strung together.”2
My very popular, School Pack includes all three of these Essences which are suitable for a range of emotional upheavals experienced by school children.
Essential Oils can help too!
There are quite a few essential oils that will help with the transition to starting school/going back to school and the change in routine that follows. For example, lavender essential oil, as well as blends such as Stress Away and Joy can help relieve stress and anxiety relating to starting something new. Valor gives one courage and mental clarity, while blends like Brain Power and Clarity can improve brain function. Vetiver has shown to be of benefit to child struggling to sit still and maintaining focus.
Other helpful tips:
1. Get to school with ample time to settle your child in.
2. Speak to your child, frequently, before starting school about some of the expectations the teacher will have of them, and what they can expect from their teacher and friends.
3. Help your child develop strategies to deal with problems or situations they may encounter so they feel empowered and in control. For example, explain what they can do if they can’t open their lunchbox, or have lost their hat, or don’t know where they should be.
4. Ensure your child has plenty of sleep, particularly in the first few weeks. Children often process their day in their sleep so adequate sleep is crucial not only to their energy levels, but also will help them academically in the classroom.
5. Diet is important for healthy bodies and healthy brains. Keep a close eye on the amount of processed and packaged food your child is eating. There is more and more evidence coming to light about the effects of certain foods, additives and preservatives on children’s behaviour and their capacity to learn.
1. Owen, J. (2010). Homoeopathy for the home prescriber. Western Australia, AUSTRALIA: QDirect.
2. White, I. (2009). Happy Healthy Kids. From conception to age 7 with Australian Bush Flower Essences. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
3. Young Living Essential Oils. (2011). Essential Oils Pocket Reference (5th ed.). United States of America: Life Science Publishing.
4. White, I. (1999). Australian Bush Flower Healing, Terrey Hills, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA: Bush Biotherapies Pty Ltd.
5. Owen Homoeopathics. (n.d.). Back to School. Homeopathic Factsheet.
This blog is not intended to replace the service of a qualified practitioner. Any application of the recommendations set forth in this blog is at the reader’s discretion and sole risk.