Behavioural Problems in Children – Tantrums, Fears, and Jealousy
I happened to tune into one of those ‘reality’ based Nanny SOS TV shows recently, and watched a 4-year old boy raging out of control in fury. He punched, kicked and spit on his parents and little brother, and could not be disciplined. He defied any attempt to control his behaviour and his mother was filled with frustration and guilt. She revealed that she had lost another child from cot death years before, and felt that she too had failed her 4-year old son. The father feared that he would one day lose his temper and hurt his son, and felt that his marriage was on the brink of collapse. The younger brother (about 2 years old) was left to cry and spent hours at a time left in a play pen as the parents had no time or energy left to mind him.
I watched this interpersonal dynamic in the family, feeling both compassion for the parents and relief that this program had found this family and could provide them with some counselling and parenting support through their crisis. I also watched this boy and saw many of his symptoms that fit a profile of a homeopathic remedy – Belladonna. This remedy is often associated with fever and inflammation and is a brilliant first-aid remedy for that reason. Because it is part of holistic medicine, Belladonna (among a few other remedies) has a mental and emotional profile. It could be indicated for someone in a state of violent rage manifested by spitting, hitting, and kicking, especially if accompanied with flushing, dilated eyes – which this boy quite visibly had on the TV show!
In conjunction with counselling and parenting support provided by the producers of the show, a few high doses of Belladonna given to that boy might have supported him in the process by reducing the intensity of his rage so he would be better able to cope with his feelings. It was apparent from the beginning that he was completely out of control – as were his parents.
It is rewarding work to treat children when they struggle to cope with the level and intensity of their emotions, whether it’s anger, fear, or jealousy (common with the arrival of a new sibling or a new partner of the parent). Parents report that their children are better able to manage their feelings, and consequently the parents can better communicate with their children to help resolve issues before they escalate.
A parent recently brought her 10-year old girl to me who was struggling emotionally with food (overeating), which began around the birth of her little brother. We treated that girl with a remedy associated with symptoms that arise from jealousy. Within weeks the parent reported that her daughter’s overeating began to subside.
Another parent brought her 3-year old son to me who was suffering night terrors and this was making it nearly impossible for the rest of the family to get any sleep. Not only would the child awaken during the night, but he had become terrified of going to bed in the first place. What was interesting was that these night terrors began after he had a viral infection when he was 2 years old. We treated him for symptoms that arise after such a viral infection, and within 10 days the parent stated that her son’s nightmares had subsided (this was a year ago, with no reported recurrence). Of course, this improvement also had a big impact on the whole family and their interaction with each other.
Along with seeking guidance from books, parenting groups, and counsellors, families also be supported by homeopathy, which offers effective, safe and gentle treatments for a wide range of both mental and emotional issues.