Bach Flowers and Parenting – A Perfect Fit
Here’s something a little different: stress relief in a bottle! No, not liquor! A healthy, harmless, natural little bottle of water that can help all the members of the family – from baby to grandma – feel and function at their best. I know it sounds strange, and a bit too good to be true, but there’s a simple way to find out if it can really help: try it yourself and see! (Or, give it to that challenging child of yours and write down your observations over the next days and weeks – you might be very pleasantly surprised.)
What are Bach Flowers?
Bach Flower Remedies are tiny vials of water that can help us heal our emotions and reduce our stress. We take two drops of the Remedies in water a few times a day until we feel “normal” again – happier, calmer, more confident and optimistic.
Of course, Bach water is not ordinary water. It has been infused with a flower and heated for a few hours (in sunlight or on a stove) – and then the flower has been removed, leaving just the water. The process of preparing Remedies this way was developed by physician Dr. Edward Bach of London, England in the 1930’s and has been used now for 70 years world wide.
This water, now altered by the flower/heat process, contains the vibrational pattern of the flower – a pattern that has healing properties for human emotions. Dr. Bach used the remedies to address human stress, believing that less stress meant less illness for people. Today, we know that the mind-body connection is indeed powerful and that it is true that less stress means a healthier body and mind.
What Kinds of Stress Do Parents and Children Experience?
Stress is any negative emotion. The three general categories of negative emotion – sadness, anger and fear – can be divided into endless shades of emotion. For instance, under the general term “sadness,” we can find disappointment, hurt, grief, rejection, loneliness, emptiness, despair and depression – to name only a few. Under “anger,” we can find rage, resentment, irritation, upset, annoyance, impatience, and so forth. Under “fear” we can find nervousness, worry, agitation, overwhelm, insecurity, panic and more.
Both adults and children feel negative emotions all the time. Parents feel stressed because they have so much to do, so many deadlines to meet and so many pressures. In addition, they may be dealing with intense upset that is caused by financial distress, marital problems, parenting problems, work problems, health problems, loss, grief, unresolved past issues and all the other normal concerns that life brings.
Children feel stressed because they are bothered by siblings, they have pressure at school, they may have trouble getting along with one or more parent, they may have social problems or health problems, they may be stressed by their parents’ marriage, separation or divorce, they may be stressed by a move, death in the family, or a change of schools, they may be bored, moody, irritable, or fearful by nature and, of course, they can have a multitude of other problems as well: resistance to change, bad dreams, toilet training issues, defiance, daydreaming, lack of motivation, constant fighting, lack of cooperation, always needing things to be fair, jealousy, temper tantrums, rudeness, shyness, inability to make decisions, bossiness, bullying or being bullied and much more.
How Can Bach Flower Remedies Help?
Bach Flower Remedies can restore both children and adults to their “best” selves. The remedies don’t relax people, change their personality or numb their feelings. What they do is unblock a blocked energetic pattern. When blocked, the mood or personality pattern is distorted and when unblocked, the mood and personality flow in a healthy and wholesome manner. For instance, when we’re healthy, we feel confident. When we’re blocked, we feel unsure and insecure. Bach Remedies can release our insecurity and restore us to a more confident state. Similarly, the Remedies release anger, impatience and fear and restore us to a calm, patient and safe state of mind. The same is true for any stressed or negative emotional state.
When parents find themselves worrying too much about their children (or other things), or falling too often into impatience and irritation (yelling too much!), or feeling down or burned out, they can use Bach Flower Remedies to help restore them to a more balanced state. Of course, they may benefit from lifestyle changes as well – more sleep, more time with friends and/or more exercise and better nutrition. Stress-reduction is multifaceted, requiring intervention on several levels.
However, there are definitely times when Bach Flower Remedies can constitute only part of the solution rather than the entire solution: when emotions are intense, overwhelming, or interfering with functioning at home or work, then Bach Flower Remedies can be employed along with professional counselling and/or in some cases, psychotropic medication. For mild to moderate distress, a consultation with a psychotherapist or counsellor may be an important additional step to recovery. A consultation with a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is most helpful when distress is severe or compromising one’s ability to carry on with the tasks of life. Psychotropic medication works on energy and mood in a general way – up vs. down – while the Bach Remedies work on specific shades of emotion such as guilt, grief, confusion, resentment, worry about finances, worry about children and so forth. Fortunately, the Remedies don’t conflict with any other medicine, food, health condition or treatment; they are not working directly on the body. For this reason, they are also completely safe for pregnant and nursing women and newborn babies! Bach Flower Remedies only help – they never cause an unhealthy physical reaction.
Every member of the family will have times when they are out of sorts and Bach Remedies can help minimize the duration and intensity of those periods. They are a wonderful resource for all of us – family life is easier and more pleasant with the help of Bach Flower Remedies.