If you prefer to read, the transcript is at the bottom of this page.
EPISODE 50 SHOW NOTES
About this Episode
It’s normal for children to feel some fear at night, whether they are alone in their room or share with a sibling. Nighttime can make anyone feel vulnerable, especially when you’re 7-years-old and have an active imagination. The child’s fear may arise from being in the dark feeling anxiety about being away from mom and dad for a few hours or simply from feeling alone after being with people all day.
In this episode, I share both aromatherapy and non-aromatherapy tools and recommendations that can help reduce your child’s fear at night so that they – and their caregivers – can get a good night’s rest.
I love sharing my 30+ years of aromatic experience and knowledge with you through my podcast. You’ll find personal stories, tutorials humor and inspiration in a warm and friendly manner. It’s my hope that you will feel inspired to explore essential oils deeper after listening and explore what is possible for health and well-being when you include aromatherapy into your life.
What You Will Learn
- Reasons for Nighttime Fear in Children
- Aromatic Tools and Practical Recommendations for Making the Child Feel Safe
- 3 DIY Spray Recipes for Encouraging Children to Feel Safe and Sleepy
- Smell My Life segment: I share how I damaged a piece of high-end furniture with essential oil.
- Ask Liz segment: I answer podcast listener Brad’s question about sinus headache oils and dilution
Resources and Links
- Read: Does Your Child Have Nighttime Fears? Make a “Protection Spray” Together!
- Read: Sweetgrass and Sage Hydrosols for Smudging
- Listen: AWP Episode 16 Creating a Sacred Space with Essential Oils
- Listen: AWP Episode 24: Safe Aromatherapy for Children
- Sleep Wellness Coach: Allison Egidi
- 12 Books to Help Kids Who are Scared of the Dark
- Read: Trauma Oil (mentioned in the Ask Liz segment)
- In the Smell My Life segment, I talk about how 👇 THIS👇 happened
3 DIY Spray Recipes to Encourage Children to Feel Safe
|1. “I Feel Safe” Hydrosol Spray |
1 oz/30 mL Neroli Hydrosol, Citrus auranium An extremely relaxing and comforting hydrosol.
1 oz/30 mL PET plastic clear misting bottle (plastic is lighter than glass for little hands)
Directions: Fill the 1 oz misting bottle with hydrosol and mist as needed.
Read: Why I Recommend Clear Bottles for Hydrosols
|2. “I Am Protected” Hydrosol Spray|
15 ml Sweetgrass Hydrosol (Hierochloe odorata)
15 ml Lavender Hydrosol (Lavandula angustifolia) or Frankincense Hydrosol (Boswellia carterii)
1 oz/30 mL PET plastic clear misting bottle (plastic is lighter than glass for little hands)
Directions: Add the hydrosols to the bottle, gentle shake to mix. Spray as needed.
|3. “I am Brave” Essential Oil Nasal Inhaler |
(Instructions for making a nasal inhaler)
4 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) relaxing
4 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) uplifting
2 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) grounding
Optional: If your child doesn’t care for Vetiver, use any earthy oil for grounding like cedarwood.
1 blank nasal inhaler
Directions: Allow the child to keep the nasal inhaler nearby and use as often as they wish. They might even recite the words “I am Brave” or a favorite prayer as they do so.
Thank you for listening and, until next time….
❤️ If you found this episode helpful, feel free to support the podcast production
Aromatic Wisdom Podcast Episode 50 Transcript
Hello, friends! Welcome to the podcast! If this is your first time listening, thank you so much for giving the podcast a try - I do hope you enjoy it and come back. And if you’re returning and you’re one of my wonderful loyal listeners, thank you so much for being here and making the podcast what it is today.
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Okay, let’s talk about today’s topic - little kids and nighttime fears.
It is very normal for kids to be afraid at night, especially between the ages of 3 and 8 when the imaginations are really starting to flourish. But an active imagination can be a good thing, and an overactive imagination can sometimes be a detriment. So in that time frame - between the ages of 3 and 8 - a lot of children will experience fear of the dark, they may have general bedtime anxiety, they are afraid of being away from you in their bedroom they are afraid there could be something hiding in the closet.
And the caretaker of the child - parent, grandparent, guardian, auntie, babysitter - whoever is helping the child get back to sleep has a real opportunity to offer reassurance and nurturing and support through the tools I’m going to talk about and can affect the child’s ability to fall asleep, in a very positive way. And, hopefully, stay asleep throughout the night. That’s the goal let them sleep all night so Mom and Dad can rest.
I have two adult sons and a teenage grandson Bean who is now 14, and at some point in their lives I’ve had to comfort all three of these young men. One of the benefits of being older is the wisdom of experience so today I’m going to share how I helped my own kids cope and overcome their nighttime fears. I’m going to share some ideas that are aromatic - that involve aromatherapy and I’m going to share some ideas that are not aromatic, but are good ideas that you might want to implement into the child’s nighttime routine.
1. Identify the Child's Fear
The first step is to identify the fear. Encourage your child to specify what exactly they are afraid of. This may be hard for really little ones who aren’t very articulate yet, but if you are patient and calm and they know you’re really listening, they can usually identify what is making them feel afraid. Identifying and calling out a fear is the first step to taming it.
I, personally, have struggled with anxiety my whole life. I’ve been very transparent about that; I don’t think there’s any shame in it, it’s simply the way I’m wired. One of the best coping that I’ve learned in Cognitive Behavior Therapy which has been very powerful for me, is to simply name it… When I start to get the feeling of anxiety, I just call it out. ”I’m feeling anxiety. "Oh, Hello anxiety. Thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I’m in no danger so you can go back to my primitive brain now, thank you.” It’s remarkable how uncovering the fear and shedding light on it, helps to dissolve it. So if you can get your child to name what they are afraid of that’s a great step in getting over it.
Try to ask open-ended questions that will encourage them to talk about what they are scared of.. Obviously, never make fun or laugh even if it seems absurd - like being afraid of their shoes or something. The fear is very real to your child.
2. Make a Protection Spray with the Child
I did a whole blog post on a spray with a recipe which I’ll talk about in a second. Kids like tools. We all like tools, We like to have things that we can use to help us empower ourselves. So have it be a project that you do with the child that you do together and they can keep next to their bed when they feel scared, that’s a wonderful gift to give them.
Now, I want to say something about what it is called. Some of you will want to make a Monster Spray which is what I used to do. But when you know better, you do better. I used to believe that I was showing respect to my child by acknowledging that there was something they were afraid of, so I would say something like, “Well I know for a fact that scary nighttime creatures hate lavender, so let’s make a monster spray with lavender because they hate that..” If you google “monster spray” you’ll come up with pages and pages of recipes. AND, I even wrote a Monster Spray blog post in 2013 that I recently updated to call it a “Protection Spray” I mean, I see the fear as the monster, so let’s destroy it.
Well, child experts are now discouraging Monster Spray.
According to Allison Egidi, a certified pediatric sleep consultant, the problem with monster spray is that the whole concept validates the terrifying idea that monsters could actually be in your child’s room. If you’re talking to your child about using monster spray, that’s sending the message that monsters do exist and you need this spray to keep them away. Even if you’re telling your child that monsters aren’t real, you’re putting that into question by using monster spray. They have zero reason to believe that monsters aren’t real because… well, you’re spraying for monsters.
Personally, I think it depends on the child and your comfort level with telling this story. So an alternative more positive approach could be to make a protection spray or a fear-no-more spray or call it something like "
Let child pick out a "magical" spray bottle. Fill the bottle with lavender or geranium hydrosol. I suggest those two because they are pretty aromatic, whereas some hydrosols are very light. Shake well. Spray in corners, under beds, in closets, etc. Child may chant "monsters, monsters, stay away" or any other powerful words. Shake before each use to make the magic strong. This can delay bedtime rather than provide comfort.
3. Make a Calming Nasal Inhaler with the Child
The concept with the nasal inhaler is similar to the spray in that the child has a self-empowering tool, but this one has a little more aromatic power - using essential oils that are high in chemical components that soothe and relax the central nervous system. Let them make the nasal inhaler. My friend has a daughter named Haden. Haden is a highly sensitive child with a wonderfully active mind. When Haden was about 8 or 9 she had a trouble sleeping. I invited Haden and her Mom to my house and had prepared a table with 3 different colored nasal inhalers to give her choices of color and 3 different essential oils, again to give her some aromatic choices. Not more than 2 or 3 because they will get overwhelmed or confused. Again, have them give it a name, Sonia’s Sleepy Inhaler or Danny’s Deep Sleep Blend. Alliteration is such fun!
4. Rearrange the Child's Bedroom
Make the child's bedroom a sacred space. (refer to my episode on using essential oils to create a sacred space) Are there particular spots of the room that seem to be darker or cause more fear at night than others? My grandson had a dark corner in his room that made him nervous. I shared that with him mother and together they rearranged his bedroom to put more light in that corner. Go into the bedroom during the day with your child and talk about the spots that make your child nervous. Try moving night lights and furniture around for a more calming room arrangement. Add flowers or a diffuser that can double as a night light.
....more coming (I really need an assistant 😬)
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