5 Essential Oils To Positively Influence Your Child's Behavior - Baby Chick
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5 Essential Oils To Positively Influence Your Child’s Behavior

Learn why one mom recommends lavender, frankincense, vetiver, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils for improving children's behavior.

Published January 30, 2018 Opinion

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My daughter is the definition of strong-willed. She’s driven, opinionated, and intelligent. She is very much of an “I want what I want when I want it” kind of child. And, usually, she will find a way to get that thing she desires, even if we don’t give it to her ourselves. It has been challenging at times. We constantly seek ways to channel her personality toward positive actions and outcomes. We’re also very open to different parenting techniques and creative ways to correct her. We are huge fans of natural living and have been using essential oils for the past four years for every aspect of our lives — physically, emotionally, mentally, you name it! Because they work so well, we have also used them to help her behave better.

The science behind the power of plants is fascinating.1 They contain chemical constituents that can support your mind, body, and spirit in more ways than one.2 While many different herbs and natural remedies can benefit your child’s behavior, we have found that these five essential oils have helped our little girl tremendously.

Related: Are essential oils safe for babies and kids?

5 Essential Oils for Your Child’s Behavior

Before we dive in, there are some guidelines to know for using essential oils with children. Unless your child is older than 3 years old, aromatherapy isn’t recommended. And if they’re older than 3, you should only use approved essential oils on them.6 Don’t apply an undiluted essential oil to their skin or put it near their eyes, ears, and nose.5 (Johns Hopkins Medicine has helpful guidelines for essential oils dilution dosage by age.) You should also test the oil on a small patch of their skin and wait to see if they have a reaction before using it.5 Make sure to talk to their doctor, as well, before using essential oils on them.

Depending on your child’s age, you might consider trying the essential oils below to help positively influence your little one’s behavior:

1. Lavender

Lavender oil is a great beginner oil to try and is considered safe for children over 3 years old.5 It comprises over 100 chemical constituents that can assist the body when adapting to occasional stress, which can relax and calm the mind and body for restful sleep, promote positive emotions, and help keep your child calm and cooperative.1,3,4 This essential oil is gentle, but make sure to use a safe dilution on your child if you apply it to their skin.5,6

Personally, we apply this oil to the bottoms of my daughter’s feet, behind her ears, over her heart, and down her spine. We also love diffusing this oil in her room during bedtime and naps.

2. Frankincense

Frankincense is also a must-have oil to use with your kids. It consists of major chemical components that are powerful in supporting restful sleep, calming and relaxing the mind, and keeping emotions grounded during life situations.5,7 However, it’s not on the approved list of essential oils for children 5 and under.4 So, check with your doctor to see if your child is old enough to try it.

This essential oil also has a gentle feel, so we don’t dilute it for our daughter when applying it to her skin. However, dilution is always recommended when using essential oils on the skin.5 We apply this oil to the bottoms of her feet, over her heart, behind her ears, and down her spine. She loves this oil going in her diffuser, too!

3. Vetiver

Vetiver is a strong-smelling essential oil — very pungent yet woodsy. It contains dozens of chemical constituents that are great for helping your child focus, be more alert (which may help them pay attention in school), and calm their nerves and emotions.8 Like lavender and frankincense, vetiver is also mild in feel to the skin, but you should still dilute it, especially if you have a child prone to topical irritations.5

Since vetiver has such a strong smell, I only apply this on the bottoms of my daughter’s feet before school. However, if she will be at home all day, I’ll apply it to other areas of her skin, like her neck, chest, temples, and spine. I’ve found that diffusing this oil is also great for helping her behave and focus.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary has quickly become one of my daughter’s favorite essential oils and one that I don’t mind using on her every day. Its dozens of chemical constituents support an excellent memory and clear thinking.9,10,11 The clearer the thinking, the happier the kid!

This oil is a little more intense in how it feels to the skin, so again, make sure to dilute it on your child.5 We love applying it over her temples, the back of her neck, her spine, her feet, and her heart. We also diffuse rosemary at home during activities that require some mental focus.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint is familiar and a huge favorite, even among kids! Some say it’s safe for children over 3 years old, while others only consider it safe for kids over 5 years old.4,6 This oil is excellent for alertness, focus, energy, and anxiety.12,13

This essential oil is powerful in terms of aroma and sensation to the skin. So, remember to dilute it for your child. My daughter loves the cool feeling it has when we apply it down her spine, on the back of her neck, and on the bottoms of her feet. Diffusing this oil in the mornings has been a great way to help her wake up for school.

Parenting is the most challenging job in the world. Raising kids is beautiful, terrifying, joyous, and trying. All of us mamas need all the help we can get. And if there’s something natural out there that’s safe and can help us stay sane, I’m all about it! Just make sure to do your research and check with your child’s doctor before using aromatherapy.

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Hannah Crews is a wife, a mom of two, and a former news reporter and morning show host. Her humor, entertaining personality, and creativity are used to make a positive… Read more

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