by Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND*

Back-to-school season can be joyous, exciting, nerve-wracking, emotional and completely overwhelming. It’s a season when emotions are running high and anxieties, fears and excitements on top of schedule changes, planning and preparation can keep everyone in the house up at night. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to help everyone transition more easily into the back-to school routine. Any of these suggestions can be used alone or in combination, just depending on what your family needs at any given moment.

  • Melatonin – The combination of flexible summer bedtimes and pre-school anticipation may have your youngsters staying up late or having a hard time calming down for sleep. Re-establishing a normal bedtime routine before school actually starts can help them to transition more easily. Giving melatonin, which is kid-safe and non habit-forming, half an hour before bedtime and making sure your kiddo’s environment is quiet can help them to settle into sleep.  Dimming the lights an hour or so before bedtime can really help to calm the kiddos down and get them ready for sleep as well. Melatonin can be used safely in doses from 1 mg to 10 mg in children, just depending on your child’s needs. Start low and work your way up if you’re not seeing results.
  • Calming Cream Rx – Just like the name suggests, this cream can be a great way to calm those jangling nerves and settle an anxious kiddo. It’s literally a cream so you don’t have to worry about trying to get your little one to swallow pills or take anything yucky.  Just put it on topically – ½ to 1 pump up to three times daily.
  • Rescue Remedy – This is a great simple solution for in-the-moment anxiety and worry.  If your kiddo is talking about something that makes them nervous or acting nervous about school or just more emotional in general you can use Rescue Remedy to calm the waters.  It’s available in drops, cream or spray so again there’s no pills to swallow. Most kids like the way it feels and will learn to ask for it when they feel a little unsettled. It’s safe and gentle and can be used as often as needed.
  • Calmness for Kids – If anxiety is making your kiddo act out in destructive or impulsive or even self-harming ways this product can be helpful. This is for the kiddos that aren’t great at saying they’re nervous or excited but can show you how they feel by screaming or throwing a tantrum or breaking something. It’s in tablets, so there is something to swallow, but to help get around the outbursts it’s worth it.
  • Lemon Balm Force – Lemon balm is very calming and soothing for kids who have high levels of anxiety on an ongoing basis.  If you know your little one is a worrier and back-to-school is just adding to that then lemon balm can be a great helper to just take some of the stress out of their little system.
  • Stress-Away Essential Oil Roll-On – This is a great pocket-sized helper for kids. It calms anxiety and promotes relaxation in the moment.  It’s a roll-on, so your kiddo can just put a little on their skin somewhere where they can smell it whenever they need it.

Of course, if your kiddo is having long-term troubles with anxiety, depression or acting-out, then it’s a good idea to talk with a natural practitioner who can find more long-term solutions. If it’s just the back-to-school jitters, then these simple steps can take you a long way towards having a happy, easy back-to-school season.


Amy Neuzil, ND is a naturopathic doctor and not a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy. This information is written from a naturopathic perspective. The State of Texas does not license naturopathic doctors. Dr. Amy holds a current and valid license to practice naturopathic medicine from the State of Arizona.