With the start of the school year, you may notice your child and teenager start to worry about going to school.
Anxiety may arise around things such navigating the school building, doing well in lessons, friendships, worry about a particular teacher or subject. It could be to do with not being at home so much and not having their parents or guardian around all the time. Older children can often worry about all the extra responsibility they are asked to take on, a bigger timetable, remembering the right books on the right days, have they got their sports kit. There is a lot which can stir up feelings of anxiety and worry and it can show up in many different ways.
Back to school anxiety can be helped with homeopathic remedies easing both emotional and physical symptoms. The right remedy can help you child start school with excitement and enthusiasm rather than fear and trepidation.
Homeopathic remedies for back to school anxiety.
Read the descriptions for each remedy below and choose the one most appropriate for your child.
Aconite for fright.
There is true fear of going to school. There can be acute panic attacks, restlessness (unable to sit still), fear of being in a crowded room with shaking, wide-eyed stares (think rabbit in head lights) and cold sweats.
All symptoms will be worse in a crowd of people so its helpful to take your child to somewhere quiet and peaceful. There will be shortness of breath and palpitations with rapid onset.
Argentum Nitricum. “Will I be OK?”
Strong anticipatory anxiety and nervousness with loose stools and gas. There is a big dread of ordeals, upcoming events and a lack of confidence around new situations. Children needing this remedy can be overly emotional with vivid imaginations.
There will be lots of questions around the upcoming ordeal about generally lots of nervous chatter.
A marked fear of failure, fear of heights, claustrophobia and sometimes impulsive behaviour. (Compare with Gelsemium.)
Arsenicum for control.
Anxiety and nervousness are displayed as the need to control themselves and their surroundings. Fastidious, restless and fidgety. Children will be very organised days and weeks before school starts, their bag packed by the door, uniform and shoes laid out. Their schedule will be organised, books ready and folders labelled. All this is to ensure nothing goes wrong, nothing is out of their control.
There is also marked insecurity and worry particularly about health – often seen as the child saying they are not well and can’t go to school. All this worry leads to exhaustion. This is made worse by the night time waking with feelings of anxiety, particularly around midnight. Warm drinks, warm blankets and a warm bath generally ease these symptoms.
Calcarea Carbonica for overwhelm.
These children become overwhelmed quickly. At the start of the new term there is a lot of information to take in a process very quickly – new timetable, new teacher, new school, new friends, new lessons – too much information too quickly.
Calc Carb cannot take all this new information on board quickly. They need time to understand and process one new thing at a time. They don’t always ask for help from anyone, they will worry about the small things.
There is a tendency to avoid new things and experiences so a new school can be a big deal for a child needing Calc Carb. When anxious and overwhelmed you will notice stubbornness and lethargy.
Patience is needed, Calc Carb get there – in their own time.
Gelsemium for anxiety before an event.
If you are not sure what remedy to give start here.
Anticipatory anxiety before the first day of school, an exam, public speaking, performing. These tasks feel just too big – it all gets just too much leading to weakness, apprehension where the child seizes up with fear. You will notice trembling, stuttering, and confusion.
There is also nausea, tummy aches, diarrhoea, sadness, a desire to hide. Think of stage fright!
Lycopodium for fear of failure.
This remedy is for when your child fears they will fail and look foolish in front of others. To cover this up they will appear overly confident that doesn’t feel confident.
You may notice your child lash out verbally and put others down to make themselves feel better, at the same time as being very sensitive to any criticism themselves.
These feelings may build up over time with no indication of issues, so this remedy maybe needed a few weeks into the new school term.
Even though there is a fear of performing new tasks when they are embarked on, they are executed with ease and great success.
Pulsatilla for separation anxiety.
The child needing Pulsatilla will cling onto you and WILL NOT LET GO. There will be weeping and whining and full of woes, older children may become quiet and moody however.
Hugs and affection and lots of reassurance go a long way to help. This is the child who will want to stay by the teaches side all day and will have difficulty mingling with the rest of the class. A great remedy to think of for homesick child and teens who are away from home for the first time.
At night they may lie in bed with overactive minds, thinking the same thoughts over and over, especially at times of change in their lives. Once asleep, they tend to have anxious dreams with twitching limbs.
How to take your remedy
Use 30c potency.
Take 1 dose (1 pill) and observe your child. You can take up to 4 times per day. Stop taking the remedy as the symptoms start to improve.
You may find you need to repeat the remedy for a day or so. Observe any changing symptoms – another remedy maybe needed.
If you are unsure where to start? Try Gelsemium.
Nutrition for the Anxious Child
Monitor sugar intake. Too much sugar causes the adrenal glands to work hard and so does anxiety. The adrenal glands pump out cortisol and adrenaline when we feel anxious and also with a diet high in sugar. This can have a negative impact on our immune system so increasing the susceptibility to colds and coughs. It can also affect sleep patterns and concentration.
Protein helps to balance blood sugar spikes and takes the load off the adrenal glands. Frequent sources of protein in snacks/meals are important such as nuts and seeds, humus with carrot sticks, eggs, meat and fish can help with balancing blood sugar fluctuations. These supplements can help support your child’s system and ensure they have the best resources available to help them cope:
- Magnesium is important for many systems in the body but will also help your child be calm at night for restful sleep. Give this after school or early evening.
- Multi B vitamin: B vitamins are very important for the nervous system.
- Vitamin C supports the adrenal glands and will also boost the immune system.
- Essential Fatty Acids. Omega 3 can play a role in easing anxiety and low mood as well as improving cognition.
- Take a look at Cytoplan for your supplements.
Parents need support too.
It’s not only your children who are adjusting to a change in routine. If your child is starting school for the first time or your teenager is leaving home you will be feeling the emotional impact of this. Homeopathy can also help you to adjust to these changes and embrace moving forward.
Flower Essences are a beautiful support alongside your homeopathic remedies.
You may find these helpful:
- Findhorn Flower Essence Teen Combination is a great support for your teenager fostering focus and balance. This essence encourages self-acceptance, understanding and confidence. It eases those feelings of intense self-consciousness and allows their inner light and beauty to shine.
- Bach Flower Essences which can help at this time include:
- Aspen to ease those fears of the unknown and encourage feelings of security.
- Mimulus for fear from known reasons. Encourages quiet courage and an ability to enjoy the moment.
- Rock Rose for courage. For times of terror and fear – when it all gets just too much. This gorgeous essence helps you to dig deep and find your courage.
- Dosage: for children 4 drops in a small glass of water morning and night.