Homoeopathic remedies for school problems
6. Homoeopathic remedies for overworked parents
Some children with learning difficulties are a real challenge for their parents; for example, a Barium carbonicum child who cannot handle the pressure to perform and is always behind. Or a Syphilinum child who is restless and unable to do his homework on his own and thus he is a constant challenge. Of course, these children have to be helped and there are several means to do that. But the parents also have homoeopathic remedies through which they become more patient and sensitive for their child when their nerves are overburdened.
In addition to that, there are excessive expectations concerning the efforts of the child. Fortunately in Germany, the realization came through that in case of doubt it is better to enroll the child into school rather later than earlier. In some other countries, however, the children are often enrolled into school much too early, mostly from false ambition, ignorance or professional reasons. Often a vicious circle is started: Mostly these children hardly make the first grade and in addition they refuse to do their homework with their parents because they would rather play with their class mates. At the beginning of the second school year, the parents provide their children with private lessons and suitable homoeopathic remedies for the child so that he can study better.
Firstly, it is advisable for the parents to think about the situation calmly. Sometimes it is their own fear not to be able to keep up with the performance requirements in this society which they subconsciously convey to the child and their natural ambition caused by their unconscious fear is increased so much that their child gets under huge pressure and is strongly overburdened. The child is not mature enough in his development to understand the high demands which is expressed then by learning disturbances and other behavioural problems. One should consider postponing the beginning of school because learning is easier then and everyday life can be lived without friction.
As a help for equilibrium the parents have the possibility to choose between three homoeopathic remedies: Nux vomica, Lycopodium and Arsenicum album.
If one parent (or sometimes both), in spite of efforts and good intentions, more and more often loses his patience while the child is doing homework or when getting news of bad notes, and instead of showing supportive understanding shows lack of understanding and is furious with the child and more and more loses control of his rages, then the remedy Nux vomica taken for a longer period of time gives calmness and understanding of the situation. The parents become more open to considering the problems of the child and can look for help somewhere else, if necessary.
Lycopodium (Common clubmoss)
Reduces unrealistic expectations
If parents are fanatic about very good notes from their child, this can become a great burden for the child. Often these parents have difficulties to accept bad notes and they try, almost like a superintendent, to find out the reasons for the bad notes. If they even become indignant and are ready to beat their child because of the lack of achievement, then it is high time to take Lycopodium so the parents can get back to normal.
Arsenicum album (arsenic)
Gives confidence in the abilities of the child
If one parent by his deep seated fear that his child cannot handle his life and is constantly occupied by ordering the child around – in other words, he does not give any freedom to the child to handle his own affairs – then arsenic is very helpful to get more peace and confidence into the family.
Stories about everyday school life
In the following chapter we want to show how the learning problems which were presented by pharmacological pictures in part II show up in everyday school life.
Teacher Renate Markstätter-Mayr has been working with pupil who have learning difficulties for several years. She works with them in small groups for several weeks. It happens from time to time that she does not find any access to a child. It cannot be motivated to participate in the lessons and disturbs the entire process.
In her desperation she began to develop a first-aid-program. She uses unusual way to motivate difficult pupil. She tries to give the lessons with a lot of fantasy.
Mrs. Markstätter-Mayr told us some of her experiences with children with learning difficulties. In the following stories you will find out what is possible even during normal everyday school life.
- Don’t be afraid to use unusual ways to help your child.
- Set your fantasies free to make the learning material interesting.
- Use carefully thought out fantasy stories.
- Approach things playfully.
- Look for funny and amusing solutions.
- Observe your child. He will help you to find a way.
An ointment does not only heal burns
Here we want to present a typical Lycopodium child. He has unusual abilities. The common school lessons mostly are not interesting enough to cover his specific interests. Only by special demands his talents appear as the following example shows:
Tobias could not be motivated to write even one line. He gave big speeches, he constantly attacked a foreign boy who could not speak German well and provoked him until they started fisticuffs. Through him the lessons were totally stopped. Tobias was totally stubborn and did not want to change his behaviour.
The following day an accident happened where one boy got seriously burnt. The event developed to a general topic. It was a good reason to produce an ointment for burns –the recipe from the old Indian Yumani Healing Art that I learned from Carola and Ravi Roy (“Self Healing by Homoeopathy”, page 153). Naturally the children were very curious. But Tobias pretended to be uninterested.
We burned a piece of cotton on a baking tray. The ashes were mixed with olive oil to produce a paste. All children – and to my surprise even Tobias – were totally absorbed. Then the production was drawn and written down so that each child could take his own recipe home. The incident totally changed Tobias. His whole knowledge which he had learned from the Technical Aid Organisation showed up now. Tobias made a strong effort to prepare the instructions without any mistakes. In addition, he gave a detailed description of the accident and the first aid for burns. Expertly, he examined the fire extinguishers at school. Due to his initiative all fire extinguishers were checked. (R.M.-M.)
Letters are flying in triads
The Lachesis child makes a real effort to study but the thoughts do not want to flow. That drives him to desperation and he could cry. He needs a special stimulus which unblocks his creative potential. Then the good ideas can come out.
The German lesson and the letter to his mother were finished. All children went for the break. Only Giovanno still tried to put his name underneath. Suddenly, he started crying and he moaned that he even could not write his name in a beautiful way. Despite of all efforts he would need much more time than the other children.
I tried to console him that his name would be complicated. Besides I also was not always happy with my signature. I wrote my long name on a piece of paper. It really did not look very good. Giovanno dried his tears and tried to write his name again. He strongly held the pen and strongly pressed it on the paper when writing and had difficulties to connect the letters. We reviewed the result. I suggested that we should practice together by trying my new text markers. The text markers proved to be a magical means. In the beginning still with difficulties but then letters came on the paper easily, were multi-coloured and literally danced up and down, changed into garlands and finally flew away in triads.
Giovanno hopped by singing into the break. During the following days he happily painted his name and printed little stories on a big piece of paper. The colourful lines became more and more flowing. After a while Giovanno could write more fluently – even without the magical pens. (R.M.-M.)
Tensing up during dictation
The Silicea child makes high demands on himself. He wants to do everything perfectly and always finds some bagatelles through which he is not happy with his efforts. Because of the tensions he gets cramps in his hands and in the shoulder-neck area through which headaches appear which start in the back of the head into the forehead. For this the following example:
Fabian tries to do all written tasks carefully. Since he does not write fluently and correct even the smallest mistake right away, he needs a lot of time for each task. But he never gives up prematurely.
When I announced a dictation Fabien declared that he could not participate.
During dictations his hand would cramp up after a short time.
I told him that I would dictate very slowly and that I would not give notes for the dictation. It would only help me to find out which kind of mistake pupil make. Fabian finally consented. First I read the text, then we talked about the contents, a ride on a merry-go-round. Afterwards, I dictated especially slowly. During the first stop Fabian shook out his cramped hand. Then it took only two sentences till the next stop. When his hand cramped for the first time Fabian gave up.
At first I did not believe Fabian’s story but I had to realize that Fabian’s hand really cramped and learned by homoeopathic pharmaceutics the confirmation that this is really possible. (R.M.-M.)
Learning to read by the story about Hannibal crossing the Alps
The Natrium-muriaticum child needs a long time before he trusts a stranger and even longer before asking for help outside his known circle. He has often been disappointed and closed up. Learning without being present with joy naturally lessens the learning success. For this here is the following example by the teacher Renate Markstätter-Mayr.
After several weeks of exercising orthography Benedikt complained very softly: “What I actually wanted to learn I did not learn, namely reading.” We had one week left. Up to now Benedikt was successful in hiding his text blindness because he read only easy words or known texts.
I was very happy that he really wanted to learn to read now. Quickly, we found out that there were no suitable texts available. The usual texts for reading beginners are not interesting for pupil in fourth grade and he hated his own primer. Finally, we found an article in the pupil’s magazine and the pictures whereof fascinated Benedikt: Elephants crossing the Alps. A few years ago a young French man had dared to repeat Hannibal’s crossing over the Alps. Benedikt was bursting to get to know the whole story. The text was printed much too small and too difficult for a beginner. I magnified the text. Then the vowels were optically emphasized by neon writing, difficult consonant links were discussed and long words were divided into syllables. Benedikt comprehended everything quickly.
Now Benedict could start and it really worked.
In the beginning he read very slowly but he understood the contents. Because the story interested him so much he came before the lessons started every day in order to read a bit.
Already after a short time his reading became more and more fluent. In the next school year he wants to change to secondary school.
Geometric Ant Ralley
Calculation is the weak point of the Syphilinum child. It is as if a big cuboid in his head would block every effort to calculate. He has major difficulties with three-dimensional imagination. Each task has to make certain sense. The child does not understand why he should make any effort. He does not want to do anything in vain.
Here is an example:
Subject of a mathematical lesson was: The calculation of the circumference of a rectangle.
In fact we ran around with ants in a square and this happened in the following way:
Kerstin could not simply imagine something like a “circumference”. Nothing helped – for example, following the line of the circumference of a book, to measure, to draw, to cut out, to present in colour. She simply could not understand the abstract formula.
Maybe she was not interested in the task. But there were the ants whose paths ran between the floor plates in the aisle.
Suddenly the task was: How long does an ant need to get around one floor plate? How many centimetres does it have to run? And which ant is the fastest?
All pupils were immediately enthusiastic. The ants were “rerouted”. Their velocity was taken as well as the length of the path.
Very quickly also Kerstin found out that “her” ant had to run along the long and the short side twice.
Jeronimo aspirates a dictation on paper
The Barium carbonicum child needs quite a while to understand something. One has to move very slowly step by step. Then his self-assurance grows as the following example shows:
Jeronimo refused to take notes during the dictation. “I’m sure I’ll get a six again!” All the years of orthography meant frustration for him. He seemed to have given up. If possible he avoids to write down anything at all. At best he wants to copy only.
We started a new trial: “No more mistakes are put down on the paper!”
Jeronimo does not believe it.
During the preparation of the dictation all phonemes are investigated. First we exercise the same and similar phoneme. Then we investigate how these phoneme are formed. During writing we pronounce each letter clearly meaning we speak it on paper.
In the trial effort we write an unknown dictation word by word.
One by one Jeronimo aspirates each letter on paper.
The first sentence is without any mistake and the blockade is over. (R.M.-M.)