“A simple child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels life in every limb,
What should it know of death ”
AN ENERGETIC BRIDGE
There is a cartoon of a father teaching his son to ride a bicycle. The father asks his son, who is understandably shaky on the bike, to trust him. “Trust you?” the boy asks. “I’ve only known you six years!” It’s this charming simplicity that allows children to respond so quickly to flower essences. Even lifelong patterns can be changed with a single dosage. When we as adults in the role of caregivers are aware of our children’s realities-their needs, their joys and their pains-then we can effectively minister to them through nature’s delicate gift of flower essences.
Developmentally, children pass through four stages that usher them to the doorstep of adulthood. Each of these stages presents different challenges to the child. From birth to age seven, children learn about the physical world through their bodies and their senses. From age seven to twelve, roughly, they are developing their feeling and emotional nature and beginning to understand the world on subtler levels. From age twelve to eighteen, they deal with power and the raw will of adolescence as they begin their search for self-identity. From eighteen to twenty-four, they focus more on developing the reasoning side of their nature.
Flower essences are effective catalysts for children to grow more fully in each important developmental stage. They are also an excellent way for us, as adults, to get in touch with any hidden agendas within our own inner child that have not been healed. For this reason it is a good idea for parents and children to take essences together, oftentimes the same ones. Here, we would look at the needs of the household as a single entity as well as at the component parts of the individuals who comprise it.
So often children, especially younger ones, will act out and mirror their parents’ difficulties. Sharing essences helps to create an energetic bridge between parent and child, bringing clarity to each person individually as well as to the relationships between family members. Peach, for example, is helpful for older children when a new sibling arrives. It can help them to feel emotionally secure in the changing climate of an expanding family.
Dosage directions for children are the same as for adults. Administer their dosage in juice, water or baby’s bottle. You may find your kids asking for their essences and making sure you remember to dispense them!
LITTLE BLOSSOM THEMES
Although it may seem more difficult to decipher a child’s theme essence than an adult’s, it can actually be easier. Children live their strengths, and thus their themes, candidly and conspicuouslv. Food cravings are an excellent clue as well. The Peach theme child, for example, shares her dolls at an early age-or even gives them away to other children less fortunate. The Grape theme child excels in the art of hugging. And the Avocado theme hardly seems a child at all, being more of the wise old man or the tribal crone, seemingly from birth!
Caroline, a five-year-old Orange theme, speaks freely about herself:
“If my friends aren’t happy, I do something funny. If I wasn’t happy, I would go swing on the swingset, or I’d look at the rainbows on the wall. I smile a lot because I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m a Saggitarius. And going skiing with my dad makes me happy. I’m not happy when it rains because I don’t want to have to wear a raincoat when I have a ponytail in my hair. I like it when snow comes ’cause I like my comfy snowsuit.
“Oranges are juicy. I hold them up to my mouth. I like oranges and orange juice. I didn’t eat oranges when I was a teensy-tinesy baby. I never drank out of a bottle. I never ate until I was talking.” Caroline’s mother speaks:
“Well, she’s very joyful. She’s a very happy child. She always has been, ever since birth. She just smiled a lot and loved everybody, everything. She’s like a little pixie, a little sprite. If she’s afraid of something or someone, then she might cry. Or if she’s got low blood sugar or is tired, then she’ll cry. She knows it’s okay to cry but that it’s also okay for her to try and change her energy. To do that, she goes and secludes for a little bit in her room, ‘Uh uh,’ Caroline interjects. ‘I get a drink of water. Sometimes when you tell me to go to my room, I sneak out and get a drink.’ And then she comes back cheerful and loving.”
Some years ago, a mother of two children shared a rather unusual story about her daughter, a Raspberry theme:
“From the time I was two months pregnant until I was literally wheeled into the delivery room, I craved raspberries-that have never before or since been especially important to me. I bought anything at the grocery with raspberries in it, including fresh ones out of season at $5 a basket! I would make raspberry sauce for baked chicken, eat raspberry yogurt, raspberry popsicles-anything!
“Well, my daughter, Kasey, who’s five now, is about the kindest child you could imagine. She spends an hour at a time caring for her ‘little babies,’ telling me, ‘Oh, Mama, they’re too hot,’ or ‘Mama, they’re too cold!’ And she loves raspberries. Her bedroom is painted a deep pink. She dresses herself in pink, and she has the same craving for raspberries that I did when I was pregnant!”
LITTLE BLOSSOM PLOTS
Plot essences are fairly transparent for children. Just watch kids manifest their needs without veil or pretense! Peripheral plot essence issues surface quickly in the form of accidents, trouble at school and the inevitable conflicts with siblings and friends. And pivotal plots, like their theme counterparts, make themselves known through behavior patterns from a very early age.
Peripheral plot essences surface regularly and often for children. “We use Pineapple for soccer games,” says the mother of eight-year-old Alan. “I also put Pineapple in the drinking water on our river rafting trip. It has ‘I think I can’ energy in it. On the trip, Alan said, ‘Gimme that!’ He loves it.”
Carlen is an Avocado theme with Peach as his pivotal plot essence. In his own words, here’s why:
“I love drawing. I’ve been drawing for, like, all my life. I’m ten now. It’s fun, you can draw anything you want. I sort of look around the room and see what I want to draw. Like a telephone might look like an army machine or a space cadet because of the antenna. I like drawing plants. They have lots of details. There’s a lot of shading, I like shading.
“My favorite subject at school is computer class. I like typing stories into the computer. I have a good memory. I remember phone numbers if I see them once or twice. I had a test about my memory. You look at this picture with about twenty things you have to remember, and then there are fifteen questions on the next page. I only got one wrong.
“I daydream sometimes. Like, if my mom said, ‘go make the bed,’ I might lie down and read a book because I forgot about it. Also, I’d like to have some friends that I like a little better that would just come over.”
Carlen’s pivotal plot, Peach, expresses itself through his need (quite common in most children!) to be more sensitive to his mother. With Peach clearing his magnetism to include the sensitivities of others, he could then draw the friends he seeks. Fortunately, Carlen’s father is a Peach sub-theme and their bond proves very strengthening for him.
INTERPRETATIONS FOR CHILDREN
The following list offers some guidelines for essence application for our “little blossoms.” Feel free to add your own experiential definitions.
ALMOND-Self-control, including control of sexual energies; for peer pressure; calmness; beneficial to preteens while establishing their identities.
APPLE-Clarity; healthfulness; may be administered during illness or when the thought of illness is present; for periods of discouragement.
AVOCADO-Good memory; for the child who forgets his chores, manners or personal habits; helps with school work; sharpens concentration; for learning musical instruments or undertaking creative endeavors.
BANANA-Humility; calmness; for the child who needs to center his attention less on himself and more on family and friends.
BLACKBERRY-Purity of thought; for the “terrible two’s”; and for children who have been exposed to harmful movies, games television programs; for thoughts of uncleanliness.
CHERRY-Cheerfulness; for the child prone to moods or periods of withdrawal; for times of sadness or disappointment; helps heal the trauma of divorce, imminent or past; for bed-wetting.
COCONUT-Uplifted spiritual awareness; helps a child deal with sibling rivalry; for times of challenge or struggle in school or in group dynamics; for maturity and the ability to make better choices in life, especially in difficult situations.
CORN-Mental vitality; for new beginnings: a new school year, moving to a new location, making new friends; for encouragement and a burst of energy; for “the study blahs'”; for carsickness.
DATE-Sweetness, tenderness; for the child with a sour disposition who is overly critical or judgmental of others; for the child who finds fault with others (siblings especially); for whining, clinging children.
FIG-Flexibility; self-acceptance; for the child who is too hard on himself or tries too hard; for being unsatisfied with accomplishments even when they are noteworthy; for the ability to see many sides of an issue; for nail-biting and thumb-sucking.
GRAPE-Love; a remedy for any attitude that is not loving; for stubborn, self-willed moods; for the bully or the tattletale; for tantrums.
LETTUCE-Calmness; for children who don’t like salad; helps children when they are too “wound up” to play constructively; for sleeplessness; the essence to take before exams and recitals.
ORANGE-enthusiasm; for hope; dispels deep moods; discontentment; helpful during teething; good for emotional issues connected with any accidents to the head; promotes active interest in life.
PEACH-Unselfishness; concern for the welfare of others; excellent for the weaning process; promotes a sense of sharing and cooperation with other children.
PEAR-Emergency essence; for accidents, sudden illness, or any crisis situation; helps with toilet training; facilitates the learning of positive new habits; for children who have a hard time listening in school or to their parents; for fidgety, restless energy.
PINEAPPLE-Self-assurance; helps to “untie the apron strings”; for the child who has been singled out by peers for being smaller, larger, or in some way different; for the child who is painfully shy.
RASPBERRY-Kindness; compassion; for the child who hurts others or is easily hurt; for over-sensitivity; promotes a giving nature.
SPINACH-Simplicity; for the child who is prematurely grown-up or overly-serious; for times of stress, exhaustion or overwork; for those situations in which a child feels distraught or overwhelmed.
STRAWBERRY-Dignity; for the child who has trouble letting go of being a baby; for a deep sense of self-worth; helps with clarity of self-image; for the child dealing with divorce of parents.
TOMATO-Mental strength, courage; endurance; helps to dissolve fears; for children who suffer from nightmares; helps children to move forward in their lives when they are anxious, nervous or unwilling.
There is so much more to say on the subject of children and flower essences that my hope someday is to devote an entire book to essences for families. These little blossoms, entrusted to our care, are a sacred part of our own life journey. Children are our present and our priceless future. George Bernard Shaw worded it well: “Perhaps the greatest service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind, is to bring up a family.”