Wednesday, 19th September 2018
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It’s a curious thing, but sometimes clients come to me for a consultation, and it’s not really them I need to see. Seeing all the young children going back to school last week reminded me of this oddity, so let me explain with a couple of examples. A Mum called me to arrange an appointment for her daughter who had just started school. The poor girl was not doing well. She clung to her Mum at the school gates every day, and cried when she was left to face school all on her own. She was sleeping badly, and found it completely impossible to settle in class or make new friends. I love treating children, because they are so uncomplicated, have fewer levels to unravel, and often respond immediately to homeopathic remedies. So this was an easy case, yes? Listen to the young girl, give her some remedies to boost her confidence, help her sleep and make her feel happier about going to school. Simple! Except it wasn’t. Each time I asked the little girl a question, her Mum responded for her. It soon became apparent where the issue was. The Mum was extremely worried for and about her daughter going to school, and she was projecting her fears and anxieties on to the girl. It appeared to me that her unhappiness was actually making the young girl unhappy! As gently as I could, I mapped out a plan of action to help alleviate the situation. Of course I prescribed remedies for the girl, but I also gave some to the Mum to help her to stop worrying so much. And I also advised her to be more positive about school, and to be easier on herself. After dropping her daughter to school, the Mum was also rushing back to her car for a cry, rather than engaging with the other parents around the school. So I advised her to stay and talk to them! In another example, a father brought in his teenage son for a consultation. The boy was normally a happy go lucky character, but he had become sullen, reclusive and unresponsive.

With young children, I always insist that the parent is present, but with older children, the consultation is often more productive if I see them alone. And that was the case with this boy. I think he was glad to have someone who simply took the time to listen to him. He simply felt under enormous pressure. His father wanted the very best for him, but he felt his Dad was pushing him too hard, and always expecting him to win the gold medal and be top of the class.

With the teenager’s permission, I invited the Dad back in at the end of the consultation, and again very gently and sensitively, I explained the situation. Sometimes people can’t see the wood for the trees, but this Dad was perceptive enough and big enough to realise his mistake. His son needed a few more carrots and a few less sticks! In both cases, I was delighted to hear positive news a few weeks later: the young girl was now thriving at school, and both she and the Mum had made new friends at school. And meanwhile, the teenager was back to his happy go lucky self, with his Dad easing off and offering positive encouragement rather than negative criticism. As the mother of four myself, I know how difficult parenting is, and it’s tough to admit that we don’t always get it right. But as these cases so ably demonstrate, sometimes if we as parents are strong in the midst of children playing up, then the results are better for all concerned! Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos rgn runs busy natural health clinics in both Waterford and Kilkenny.

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