Flower Essence Journal - Vibration Magazine
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©2001 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

The last month before school is out and the first month back are rough times for students and for the school personnel who have to cope with them. A great many youngsters are restless, inattentive, dreamy, and often just plain unwilling to settle in.

Stressful to a lesser extent, but still difficult, are the days before and after a long vacation, like the holidays in December and the Spring Break. Those transition times are often just as hard for the teachers and administrators, who yearn for their freedom too. There are, thankfully, flower remedies that can make these transition times easier for all concerned.

I was spurred to find essences for school transitions when a teacher came to my practice some years ago. Her problem was that these transitions were jarring for her, even the transitions from weekend to weekday routines. She loved teaching, and she loved being at home for long stretches too, but shifting from one to another mode was unsettling.

My first inspiration was Goldenrod essence, not because of the essence description per se but because of the memories it evoked. When I was growing up, goldenrod bloomed profusely in late summer to early fall, just as I geared up to go back to school. In fact, when we bought stationery supplies, the yellow-lined tablets our teachers then preferred were Goldenrod brand. (Goldenrod is classed as a weed because certain allergic people do react to the plant, among others, as a generator of hay fever, though it is not the worst offender.)

When the memory of goldenrod came to me, I became curious as to what issues the essence addressed and how those qualities might be related to school transitions. I use the preparation from the Flower Essence Society (FES), but it is also offered by Pegasus and Aditi Himalayan Essences. The FES Repertory says that Goldenrod helps those who are too easily influenced by peer pressure, social expectations, or family ties to find a solid sense of self and a well-developed individuality. (p. 323 of Flower Essences Repertory)

At first glance, that set of issues did not seem much related to school transitions, but I tried it in my client's mixture just on instinct, and it seemed to help. Later it occurred to me that social pressure is one of the reasons school transitions are hard for some children. In the freedom and flux of vacations, they can be themselves with less stress and strain. When children return to school, they confront the rigid structures and standards of classroom behavior, teachers' performance expectations and the social pressure of fitting with their peers. In fact, school is the place society first gets a crack at turning us into conforming, law-abiding citizens, and it usually gets to do that from at least age five to eighteen.

Children who are shy, awkward, or different in some way can hide from or deny that differentness at home but face it head-on in school. They quickly learn that they are NOT like other children. They find ways to adapt and conform--or the sense of not belonging becomes another reason these transitions are tough. Active, especially hyperactive children can also find adjusting to the demand to sit still for long periods a hard adjustment.

Either way, school is a primary place where the free expression of individuality is threatened, hence the usefulness of a remedy like Goldenrod. Even children who don't demonstrate outer behavioral symptoms on returning to school but who have self-esteem issues around fitting in with peers may find a course of Goldenrod helpful.

Over-susceptibility to outside influence is also a theme in the main Bach remedy for transitions, Walnut. I was familiar with Walnut's ability to help people make transitions of all kinds--job changes, moving from one area of the country or world to another, even to some extent for jet lag.

Naturally, I added that to my schoolteacher client's mixture, and it seemed to play a role in her improved ability to handle the big transitions from school to vacation and back. She even bought a stock bottle for herself, since the Bach' remedies are available in many health food and new age bookstores. She took it to school for a pick-me-up if the going got rough on Mondays.

Though not part of my personal collection at the time I worked with her, Desert Alchemy's Transitions Formula would be one possible choice for me today. It is helpful in the huge transitions in our lives, even physical ones like menopause or in changes of role or status like leaving school altogether or getting married.

Does this remedy sound too high powered for a child's world? Maybe going to kindergarten for the first time or returning from that first long school vacation doesn't seem like that big of a change to an adult, but for many small children, it can be overwhelming.

These times of transition--starting or stopping school--can be quite trying for all concerned. If remedies can make the change easier, there is no reason not to use them.

The right mixture can even make a difference in grades. During the first few weeks of school--even or especially in college or adult education programs--students often have to take in a staggering amount of fundamentals in their courses. Settling in faster can make a difference in not getting behind.

Likewise, if those last few weeks of school have the overtired student spacing out and not pay attention in class, then final exams can be a problem. Give your student--or yourself if you are in school--every opportunity to make a smooth transition.

more articles by this author here (click)

ART CREDITS: The goldenrod fairy in the border came from a clip art disk by Micrografx. Sources of the educational clip art found here are Hoxie High School, Library Graphics, Suzanne's Garden, and a clip art disk by Expert Software.

The World Wide Essence Society does not mean to imply any recommendation of nor give certification to any individuals or companies above. This article is provided purely for informational purposes. We ask consumers to make their own determination as to quality of the services and products offered above. This article is not meant to be advice, and the information is not meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.
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