Managing Big Emotions in Little Bodies


Please note: Coastal Bend Mom Collective Contributing Writer, LaDonna Rocha is a neurosurgery specialist and a Board Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine. In addition to being a naturopath, she is also a clinical herbalist, an aromatherapist, and an alchemist. Her recommendations and answers here are not intended to replace conversations with your own medical care provider. 

Managing Big Emotions | Bach Flowers | Coastal Bend Mom Collective
When I sat down to write my first blog post for the Coastal Bend Mom Collective, I was scratching my head on finding common ground – I mean, I’m well past the potty training.  They know how to share and chew with their mouths closed {Mostly}  So, what do teenagers and toddlers have in common?

Actually……a lot!

I was ahead of the game when it came to having babies, so all of my siblings now have toddlers and newborns. I have settled on what is my “best parenting advice” over the past three years that have yielded three new nieces in addition to my favorite nephew.

Here goes:

      • “Take notes when they’re toddlers. It’s just a free trial subscription for them being teenagers.”

Y’all.  You have to admit, it’s pretty true. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

“What did you just eat?”

“How are you hungry again? Are you bored, or hungry?”

“Ok, I understand, but what would be a nicer way to say that?”

“No hitting!”

“Why are you doing that?”

“Use your words.”

See what I mean? VERY similar, whether they’re teens or toddlers!  After much thought, I’ve finally landed on the thing that toddlers and teens seem to have most in common:


Managing Big Emotions | Bach Flowers | Coastal Bend Mom CollectiveThose poor babies – big and small – they feel all of the same emotions we do, in those little bodies, but have no clue how to process them, much less manage them.  The parenting frustration kicks in when you start looking for solutions.  I remember time-out feeling completely useless, and I was certain one of mine never learned a thing from staring at a corner (I’m looking at you, Chaos). I felt like I was being pushed to medicate them for what seemed like perfectly normal feelings and behaviors, to make them into these straight-laced, serious little mini-adults. (And don’t even get me started on the scary list of side effects and other problems that came with using a little pill to manage big emotions.)  There had to be a different way to do things.

And that’s what I’m bringing you today – a different road you can take when your littles (or bigs!) need just a little help handling those big feelings.  Bach Flower Remedies are a staple of any herbalist but are becoming a go-to option for parents more and more as exposure is increasing.  It’s not that they’re new, they actually came about in the early 20th century, but we’re seeing a new wave of awareness coming to natural health in the last 10 years or so.  Why are they such a great option for parents?  Well, for one, because they work.  Two, because they are safe for any age, any health condition – the veritable herbal unicorn!

That sounds too good to be true, but it’s all in how they work.  Bach flowers work on an energetic level, not a chemical level.  So, unlike an essential oil, for example, Bach flowers don’t have the actual chemical composition of the plant.  They are the distilled form of the plant energetics.  I know this sounds really woo-woo at this point, but stick with me here.

What are emotions made of?  Exactly.  You can say, “well, there are chemical changes in the body, that release different hormones, and that in turn…” yes, yes, you’re right in part, but emotions are so much more energetic than chemical.  I use an example of a boat in choppy water for my clients.  The boat is going to move according to the water.  if the water starts moving differently (energetics of the Bach flower), the boat starts to adjust to that movement too (emotions).

Managing Big Emotions | Bach Flowers | Coastal Bend Mom CollectiveHere are five of my favorite Bach Flowers for littles and what they can help address:

  1. Agrimony – agrimony helps balance anxiety, frustration, and unhappiness.  Kiddos that respond well to Agrimony are the ones that try to just keep smiling, even if they’re nervous, and their anxiety is high.
  2. Aspen – Aspen helps to calm fear, particularly at nighttime.  These kids will want to cling to mom/dad and don’t want to be left alone at night.
  3. Cherry Plum – temper tantrums, throwing fits, and emotional breakdowns respond well to Cherry Plum.  these kids get so frustrated that all they can think to do is lash out!  This reins in that overflow of anger.
  4. Clematis – this is where my space cadets reside!  Unfocused, can’t concentrate, and general day-dreamers are brought back down to Earth with Clematis.
  5. Vervain – hyperactive, high-strung kiddos can cool their jets easier with Vervain.  These speed demons are always on to the next thing before they can complete the last and tend to run siblings and others over in the process.

Bach Flowers are ways to add into your child’s daily routine as needed and have no risk of overdosage or side effects.  Worst case scenario- it doesn’t work because we’ve selected the wrong one.  No biggie there!  Reach out and let me know how you would incorporate these herbal helpers for your little ones (or for yourself- they work for adults too!).