Let Them Grow: Empowering Children to Support their Wellness
Making Sick- Ok
Having a sick child is the only thing worse than being sick yourself and ‘tis the season. In our Family Child Care, we are very particular in paying attention to the cleanliness of the children and ourselves. As the frequently used adage goes around here, “hand washing first.” When the children arrive from home they are first asked to wash their hands. They also wash after toileting and before eating. The children love washing their hands, we make it fun by singing, making lots of bubbles and discussing the importance of those clean little paws. They are also beginning to understand the importance of it without us, as adults bombarding them with too big words like “contagious” and “spread of infection”; words that can only scare a child without fully understanding them. Often in their private little circle they can be overheard pretending to wash at the play sink, or wiping their sneezes away with a tissue– this is when you know you have done a great job!
Children around the age of two begin to learn about germs. They do not really have any real sense of the huge impact this imaginative creature can have on them but they begin to follow along with the social cues we are teaching them; “cover your mouth” and “ wash both hands”.
Children as well as adults are bound to get sick. Many adults are quick to dive into pharmaceuticals and fill up on medicine that often only mask the sickness with little to no help on expediting the eviction of it. I have found that herbs and herbal remedies are often a wonderful way to support the mildly sick children in my care as well as myself through illness.
Herbal remedies have long since been the answer to many aliments. They are (disclaimer) often not supported by the FDA but can be fun to make and help alleviate many symptoms.
Children love creating in the kitchen and by allowing them to help create herbal remedies; it can open the discussion on sickness and how it can impact them. Here are a few herbal remedies that can help alleviate some of the common cold symptoms that many of us have or will be experiencing this winter.
This is not as awful tasting as it sounds. Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This tea can help sooth a cough among other things:
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 Quart of Water
Steep the garlic in boiling water for 30-40 minutes. Strain and add the honey and lemon to taste.
Chamomile is a wonderful calming herb that can help with fussiness, help with stress and discomfort of sickness and help promote relaxation.
- Dried or fresh Chamomile Tea
- Tea Ball
- A cup of hot water
Help your child pack the tea ball with the dried or fresh herbs and add their own honey and stir.
By allowing children to take an active role in their sickness it can empower them to be pro-active in their illness. Besides it fun and a children friendly kitchen activity. To discover more folk remedies for colds and flu, check out this post from the Hilltown Families archives: 25 Western MA Folk Remedies for Colds & Flus
[Photo credit: (cc) Susy Morris]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programing for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.