Little People Big Emotions
If you look in the dictionary for the meaning of emotion it says "a strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others".
There are two types of emotions - basic and complex (also known as self-conscious emotion). Basic emotion is what we start to experience from infancy and includes feelings of happiness, sadness, fear and anger. Complex emotion begins to develop later in childhood as children begin to develop a sense of self and includes feelings such as guilt, shame and pride.
Because children are not emotionally developed, do not understand their emotions and cannot express themselves as well as an adult, emotional outbursts are very common. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is developmentally normal, but there are things we can do to support healthy emotional development.
Firstly, children will mimic their role models. So if their parent or carer is always angry it will send the message to the child that this is acceptable behaviour. As role models, we need to set a good example. Obviously there will be times that we do get angry or upset about something and that is totally fine, but we can use the situation to teach our children how to deal with that emotion by managing it in a positive way ourselves.
Teaching children about what the different emotions are helps them to recognize and understand their own emotions. Encourage talk about their feelings. If a child is upset about something and you say "oh stop that nonsense, there is no reason to cry" you are not helping them to recognize and deal with their emotions in a healthy way. You are telling them that certain emotions are bad and need to be suppressed. Acknowledge their feelings and discuss them with the child.
Another healthy and natural way we can support our children's emotions is through the use of essential oils. I am not going to tell you that essential oils will put a stop to tantrums and turn your child into an emotionally developed, calm and composed child. As I have said before, essential oils do not make our bodies do anything. They work with our bodies to restore balance.
You are probably wondering how aromas can have such an effect on emotions. This is a basic explanation of how they work.
When we inhale an essential oil the molecules attach to smell receptors in our nose and electrical impulses are transferred along the olfactory nerve to our olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is connected to our limbic system (brain structure). The structures within the limbic system are responsible for emotional responses, memory, learning and much more. Aromas are known to have a profound effect on our central nervous system. Inhalaion of an aroma can have an immediate effect on our respiration, pulse and blood pressure. The brain receives the message to release certain hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that control most major functions in our bodies. These events in the body modify our emotions and behaviour. So if a typically calming oil like bergamot is inhaled our body will receive the message to relax. Smell, memory and emotion are also all very much linked. If you have a positive experience with an aroma it will be stored in your brain and when you smell that aroma again you will experience good feelings. If you had a bad experience while smelling that aroma, it will most likely have a negative effect on your emotions the next time you smell it.
If you want to use essential oils with your children it is best to have them smell the oils and let them choose. The more they like the smell, the more effective it is likely to be.
The following are some common emotions that our children may experience and the essential oils that are considered of benefit.
Bergamot, cypress, geranium, lavender, lemon, peppermint (do not use for children under 6) petitgrain, patchouli, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, vetiver
An example of an inhaler for a child that often gets angry: 3 drops bergamot, 3 drops lavender, 1 drop geranium
Basil, bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, clary sage, frankincense, lavender, lemon, roman chamomile, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, wild orange, vetiver
An example of an inhaler for a child that gets fearful: 3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops wild orange, 2 drops sweet marjoram
An example of an inhaler for a child that gets frustrated often: 4 drops lavender, 3 drops bergamot
Cedarwood, lavender, mandarin, roman chamomile, sweet marjoram, vetiver, ylang ylang
An example of an inhaler for a child that often gets overexcited: 3 drops mandarin, 3 drops roman chamomile, 2 drops vetiver
Essential oils can also be used in diffusers when you are home, placed on a tissue or handkerchief or a few drops put on the corner of a collar of a school uniform. With inhalers you will have to spend a little time teaching your child how to use them and explaining the benefit. Children do not place the inhaler inside the nose, they just wave the inhaler outside of the nostrils and take a deep breath.
If you would like to learn more, please follow my facebook page. If you would like to purchase doTERRA oils please send me a message.
This blog contains information pertaining to health and related subjects. The words and other content provided are not to be taken as medical advice. Always see your GP for any health concern.