Mommy!! They’re after me! Waah! Can I come in your bed? I had a bad dream. Every parent knows this plea from a child after they’ve had a nightmare and we wish that we could prevent any more frightful dreams.
“No Mom, I just can’t go to school today—we’re each supposed to do our big book report in front of the class and I know I’ll mess up. Besides, I have a stomach ache.” The fear of public speaking or tests can be devastating to some school children’s wellness. Does a child have to go through this stress un-aided?
Homeopathy offers some healthy and gentle ways to help your child cope with stresses as they go through the ups and downs of life. Let’s look at some of the ways you can help your child in acute emotional upsets.
Coping with pre-school
A child just starting to be away from Mom for day care, pre-school, or for longer stays at summer camp will naturally go through seperation anxietyand home sickness. Those children who are particularly emotional during this time will do better with a few doses of IGNATIA AMARA. This polychrest, ( a remedy known to have many uses) helps those who are reacting to the effects of seperation, sorrow or grief. They are moody, find it hard to work or study, are oversensitive to noise and sigh a lot. You’ll probably realise they need the remedy when thy burst into tears a few times. Situations of loss and worry, like parental divorce or seperation will warrant giving everyone involved some IGNATIA, as will the death of a loved one.
Of course, each child will have his own personal way of reacting to a stress. The remedy you choose should fit your child and the circumstances as closely as possible. Homeopathic medicines are often effective when used to treat acute, emotional and physical ailments but, when symptoms become chronic, and do not resolve in an appropriate period of time, it is best to consult a professional Homeopath to treat the child constitutionally. A deeper level of cure can be reached in this way.
Bad dreams, insomnia…
A child who has had a shock or fright may retain this in his nervous system and start to have bad dreams or insomnia or fears arising. ACONITE is the remedy to give as soon as possible after a fright or if a child is fearful of an upcoming surgery or other ordeal. My son began to be afraid to go into the bathroom alone after seeing the movie “JUMANJI”. ACONITE helped to bring him back to balance. I recommend giving it first after surgery or accidents, right before the ARNICA, to insure mind and nervous system wellness.
The sometimes emotional process of going to a doctor or dental visit or having surgery can be soothed if pre-visit doses of the appropriate remedy are given. ACONITE or ARSENICUM ALBUM for fear, CHAMOMILLA for angry uncooperativeness, and RESCUE REMEDY for any and all upsetting feelings. RESCUE REMEDY, a mixture of 5 of the Bach Flower Essences, seems to help when there are emotional situations, large and small, that call for immediate healing action. Though it is not “homeopathic” it is worth mentioning here as another form of “energy” medicine. Mom’s keep it handy for the myriad of daily upsets and major crises, too.
Home remedy kit
Occasional insomnia is a body/mind imbalance you can work on with remedies from your home remedy kit. If anticipation of the next days events and an alert mind just won’t be turned off at bedtime—then COFFEA CRUDA can be given every 15 minutes for a few doses. ARSENICUM ALBUM insomniacs are anxious and restless, with worries about trivial matters. IGNATIA can be used for sleeplessness when grief is the cause. Many have tried the herbal preparation of VALERIAN root for creating sleepiness and you should know that it is effective in potentised form for calming nervous, excited , sleepless children. Each of these remedies can be given before bedtime for a few nights, and 1-3 times after bedtime if sleep doesn’t come.
When bad dreams are recurrent a parent can help with acute remedies like a dose of BELLADONNA before bedtime for 1-3 nights. If you know your childs bad dream was from a frightful experience, then give some ACONITE to clear the mind.
Telling the story
I always tell the story in my beginner’s Homeopathic courses about how my mother gave me sleeping pills before I had to visit the dentist for fillings when I was 5 and 6 years old. How I wish that she had known about the remedies that Homeopathy has to offer for children who need calming. CHAMOMILLA heads this list. It is well known for its dramatic symptom picture of a howling, angry child, averse to being touched or looked at, satisfied with nothing except being carried, one cheek red and the other pale.
CHAMOMILLA has brought many newcomers to Homeopathy over the years as the word circulates through mother and baby play groups and LaLeche League meetings about the amazing “teething tablets”. These are combination remedy tablets widely sold in health food stores commonly containing low potency CHAMOMILLA, COFFEA and BELLADONNA.
Each remedy has its use
Belladonna for inflammation, pain and redness, COFFEA for wakefulness and sensitivity to pain and CHAMOMILLA for marked angry obstinate refusal to stop CRYING! and for its affinity to teething. As we become more knowledgable about the remedies we can choose the one that fits our child’s emotional/physical state the best. When you’ve chosen the most similar remedy you can use a 12C or 30C to reach more deeply to the vital force, usually enabling you to reduce the frequency of doses.
Teething, though a natural physical part of life, turns into an emotional problem for child and parents when the stress of it tests our coping mechnism. This is one of the hardest times of babyhood and parenthood, as the child cannot communicate (except through behavior) that they are in pain. And it is not a short process. Infants, from 5 months, to toddlers of 3 years, with a break between the 1st and 2nd molars are dealing with the eruption of teeth. Then, starting at around age 6, children teethe again as the adult teeth come in. So, keep the CHAMOMILLA handy Put it in your notes that an irritable 18 year-20 year old may need CHAMOMILLA again as the wisdom teeth begin their descent.
Some babies seem to breeze right through teething and others are sick and miserable much of the time. Constitutional treatment during this time can really make everyone’s lives more peaceful.
When a child is performing in front of a crowd, competing in a sporting event or taking an exam and their anxiety levels are high, there are several remedies to help them cope. LYCOPODIUM insecurity is an anticipation that arises even though the child has prepared well for the event, and then subsequently does well. A child with butterflies in the stomach, weak knees and trembling voice and body needs GELSEMIUM. ARGENTUM NITRICUM can be used to help your child is there is a restless, nervous anticipation that brings on diarrhea or flatulence.
I’ve always thought that the 12 Cell Salts were a great part of Homeopathy. They are low potency preparations of the minerals that constitute the human body. Many of them are familiar to us, like NATRUM MUR. and FERRUM PHOS. But my favorite is KALI PHOSPHORICUM , nick-named the nerve nutrient remedy, it can be used during times of mental and physical exhaustion from overwork or stress. With the stress level of students as high as it is nowadays there will be times when KALI PHOS can lift the burden from their shoulders and raise their spirits.
We are fortunate to have access to substances which gently but powerfully balance the mind and body without drugging or side effects. Potentised remedies reach the governing system (vital force) of the body—allowing us to bypass the need to work directly on the cell chemistry. When we use the body’s language—the symptoms—to guide us to the similar remedy the body wisdom makes its own chemical changes as only it knows best.