When I think about August and September, I think about the end of summer fun and the kids going back to school. For many parents, this is a welcome relief, getting back to structure and routine. For kids, however, starting school again can be a dreaded event with all kinds of pressures and stresses.
Here are a few homeopathic remedies to consider if you feel your child is well-represented by any of these scenarios:
Particularly for the youngest set, starting daycare for the first time or kindergarten and a new school can be traumatic for the child and even for the parent. For the more established school-goers, memories of the previous year, where it didn’t go so well academically or socially, can be daunting.
If minor separation anxiety is a problem, lots of tears and weepiness at the thought of mommy or daddy leaving, the first remedy to consider is Pulsatilla. The child cries a lot and begs not to be left, in the most heartbreaking way. They seem totally distraught at the idea of being left “alone.” They are much better from being hugged and reassured. These kids are usually quite shy by nature and have fear of separation.
Another close consideration is Ignatia, which is an acute remedy for sadness. With Ignatia, you might see more anger at having to go to school and more upset, with uncontrollable sobbing. There is often brooding and deep sighing. The child may not want consolation, and may push you away if you try. Maybe the reason for the upset is less fear of separation as in Pulsatilla, but more sadness at leaving the parent.
For kids that are socially awkward due to shyness, school can be a real challenge to their perceived social inadequacies. Pulsatilla and Silicea would be good remedies to consider for this extreme shyness. With Pulsatilla, there is often more blushing from embarrassment when addressed by others, with Silicea there is often more social awkwardness, especially with peers.
As a general rule, Pulsatilla is more suited for a child with an easy-going, yielding disposition, usually low thirst, always feels better outdoors in the fresh cool air, tends to cry readily and is easily reassured and comforted. They often have a history of frequent colds.
A Silicea child on the other hand, does not like to be consoled and can get very angry if they are approached when sad or scared. They often have a lot of minor anticipation anxiety, becoming very stressed before an event (ie, start of school). Those needing Silicea are typically chilly and sweat a lot, especially from the feet or head in sleep. The sweat often can have a sour or “off” smell. They frequently are picky eaters and may have digestive problems, and are often thinner than average as a result. They can be pale and undernourished-looking. They often have a history of late teething.
If performance anxiety is the issue, one might think about Lycopodium or Gelsemium. Kids needing Lycopodium are not too hard to spot. They are terrified of class presentations, often not sleeping well the whole night before one and are very stressed before exams, though they are likely very well-prepared. They are perfectionists and set the bar very high. They are overly concerned about what teachers and parents think of them. Inexplicably, this may stem from inherently low self-confidence. In general, these kids get angry very easily, especially when contradicted, are bossy by nature and have a hard time making decisions. When stressed, they frequently have digestive problems, as that is their weak point.
Gelsemium often works like magic if taken acutely before a presentation, or performance. Many professional singers take this remedy right before they go on-stage to calm their jitters.
Many kids in my practice have taken this remedy before important entrance exams, and felt immediately calmer. Try it!
Remember (particularly if you’re new to homeopathy) the key to choosing the correct/helpful remedy is always the same. One must match the “characteristic symptoms” (i.e., unusual or peculiar) of the person you are caring for (not the common ones like a headache, sore throat, cough, fever, etc.) to a remedy capable of producing similar characteristic symptoms to have success. If you choose a remedy with characteristics most similar to the characteristic symptoms of your family member, you should have a happy outcome every time. If you don't, you or they will either feel no effect or one that is mildly positive at best, but there is never a bad effect from choosing the “incorrect” remedy.
Once you have chosen a remedy that appears to match your symptoms, dose with a 30C or 200C to start by placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and then giving a teaspoon dose as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. And as with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of the problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. is an exceptional homeopath who provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a regular column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet.You can follow her on Facebook as well.