It's that time of year again - school clothes, backpacks, binders and pencils. Every parent also knows that school brings its own set of challenges - playground scrapes, bed times, wake up times and diseases. Oh, the diseases.

Let's face it. if Johnny has a runny nose, you wipe it. If someone else has a child with a runny nose, it's flat out gross. And runny noses are the least of the miniature biological weapons that Jonny will soon be swimming with.

As a parent, you could dose up your children with pills aplenty, but we all know that can't be good for long-term health. While modern medicine certainly has its role, there are options that don't come from pharmaceutical manufacturers.


Johnny is in second grade? Congratulations! Chances are that on the way to school he is walking on fence posts, climbing over cars, and attempting a triple lutz. When the broken bones happen, take him to the doc. Scrapes? You've got that covered. Try lavender or melaleuca to soothe the owwie.

Wake up time

Sometimes it takes an act of congress to get a munchkin out of bed. If your child has trouble getting out of bed, try diffusing or rubbing just a bit of orange or peppermint oils just under Johnny's nose. If that doesn't work, try cymbals and a bucket of ice water. It worked on my husband when he was small.

There are some side benefits to natural solutions as well - a gentle but effective natural solution might improve a child's mood. For example, waking up to the smell of a wild orange might be a pleasant start to a child's day. A bucket of ice water will be a bit less pleasant and may result in tears in the Cheerios later. Besides, carrying and throwing buckets of ice water may result in back pain. All things considered, try the orange stuff, first.

Homework helper

Algebra, antonyms and the Alamo: the terror of children and their mothers everywhere. Kids get home from their daytime torture, and what do they have? Homework. It's like schoolwork for moms. So what do you do to keep your eyelids open while droning through the books? Experience has shown that peppermint is more awesome than a litter of puppies. It's a natural solution for improving focus and staying alert. Oh, and it doesn't smell like personal pronouns.


If the daily routine of extracting Johnny from the bed, pouring Cheerios inside him, getting him to and from the bus safely, doing the homework and filling his endless appetite isn't enough, there's one last task: getting him to bed. What is the pot of gold that happens when he's down? You get to collapse and prepare to do it all over again. So what's the golden pathway to that pot of gold? Lavender can be calming and settle him down for a long winter's nap. You could also try marjoram, chamomile, ylang ylang or sandalwood. Try a few and see which works best for Johnny - or for yourself.

Immune support

Just imagine: What if you could see the little grossnesses that reside on everything Johnny touches during the day? Nose slime here, unwiped over there. You could use certain commercial products, but they are filled with chemicals. If you would rather not have to choose between chemicals and biological creepies, there is a third set of choices. Natural options are many: cinnamon, clove, orange, eucalyptus and rosemary are just some of the natural immune supporters available to you.

Pills are great, but they come from somewhere. One might presume that they start either in nature or in a chem lab. If you choose to believe that nature can sometimes provide a positive choice for your family, you have more options. Modern medicine is miraculous and offers many ways to improve quality and length of life. When doctor visits may not be necessary, natural options are empowering parents everywhere.

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