When I speak to parents about essential oils, there are usually a number of questions that arise. Most of them center around the practicalities of mixing volatile aromatic compounds with equally volatile (and sometimes spasmodic) children.
Will my child be able to use essential oils? Are essential oils safe? Do essential oils need to be diluted when they are used on young children and/or babies?
I have answers to all of these questions, and I am usually able to reassure parents with relative ease. But there is always one unspoken question that can leave parents feel anxious:
Will children like essential oils?
Now, for those of you who aren’t parents, you might not understand why this question would be such a big deal. I mean, after all, parents make decisions on behalf of their children, not the other way around. So whether a child likes essential oils should not be a make it or break it deal, right? Unfortunately, life with kids complicates matters. After all, there’s nothing like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum to suddenly encourage you to make dramatic changes in plans. So of course, if you are going to be using essential oils with your children, it’s always best to have them on board.
Now, a word of caution: you don’t want them too on board. Allow me to explain what I mean with a short story:
When my son was about 4 years-old, he discovered… (drumroll please)… the diffuser! I’m telling you guys, he was obsessed! Every day, he would pick new essential oils to put in his diffuser. And he came up with the most bizarre combinations! One day, it would be Patchouli and Vetiver. The next day, it would be Serenity and Purify. His room smelled intensely of oils, constantly, but he loved it!
Then, one day, as I was walking down the hallway, I noticed that the floor was wet. And then, as I knelt down, I noticed that it wasn’t water… it was an essential oil. So I followed the tiny droplets of essential oil… I followed them down the hall… and right into my son’s bedroom. And guess what I found? I found an empty bottle of Melissa oil. That’s right: Melissa essential oil.
For those of you who have not yet been converted into a walking essential oil encyclopedia like I have, Melissa essential oil is upwards of $150 US. Needless to say, I was beside myself. Because here I am, staring at my hallway floor where there is upwards of $150 US literally soaking into the floorboards, and all I could do was sit… and watch… and curse the day I told him he could use any essential oil for his diffuser. (In case you were curious, he was holding the bottle upside down and didn’t realize it was open until it was completely empty). They say that Melissa oil is good for raising a low mood. On that particular day, I doubted it.
So the moral of the story is, as parents, we want to find that beautiful balance where our children can absolutely love their essential oils and use them daily… without breaking our wallets while they’re at it! But how do we go about doing that? How can we make sure to pick essential oils that will be loved and used by our children?
Well, in order to answer this question, I decided to ask an expert: my now-6-year-old son. So here you have it: the top 6 essential oils that every child will love (according to a 6-year-old)!
Jonathan, I need you to help me out. I need to know what 6 essential oils every child will love. Can you help me out with that?
Awesome! So, lets start with this question. What is your favourite essential oil of all time?
Well, I love Lavender, because it heals so much things. Like it heals bug bites, and it smells so nice too!
Okay, how would you use Lavender?
I use it on my bug bites by just putting a drop of oil on the bite and rubbing it around with my finger. I also like to use Lavender in my diffuser.
That’s great! Do you have any other essential oils that you like?
Hmmm. Well, I really like Terrashield because it will protect you from the bugs (can you tell we live in an area where there are lots of bugs?). And it also smells really, really nice.
I’m noticing a bug-theme happening here! Okay, so how would you use Terrashield then? Do you use it the same way as Lavender?
No, not really. I use the spray Terrashield, so I use it by spraying it on myself—like on my arms and my neck and my legs—so that I don’t get any bug bites!
Perfect! Okay, what other essential oils do you like? Are there other ones that you use for different things, not just bug bites?
Oh, Lemon! I like using Lemon oil because it will get chemicals off of things.
Really? So how would you use Lemon oil then?
We put it on our grapes so that it takes the chemicals off of them and makes them taste even better than they usually do! All you have to do is just put some grapes in some water, and then add 2-3 drops of Lemon oil on top! (Just make sure you use a metal pot or a glass bowl to soak the grapes, though; Lemon oil will eat up your plastic bowl!)
Well look at that! You’re so smart! Okay, are there any oils that you really like because they help you when you start feeling ouchy?
Well, there’s Roman Chamomile.
Wow, you know about so many essential oils! Why do you like Roman Chamomile?
I like it because it helps my eyes! Sometimes my eyes get ouchy and start getting puffy. So whenever that happens, we get Roman Chamomile and Melaleuca. We put a couple drops of each in our hands, mix them together, and then rub them on the first three toes on my feet. You always help me with that, and then my eyes get better!
Yes, your eyes get better really quickly, don’t they? It’s amazing!
Yup, it’s awesome. You just have to get the oils and rub them on your toes. And then, bam! All better!
You’re absolutely right! Okay, what is one last essential oil that you love to use all the time?
Hmmm. Maybe… Wild Orange.
That’s one of my favourites too! Why do you like Wild Orange so much?
Well because to me, sometimes when I’m in a bad mood, if you mix some oils together and one of them is Wild Orange, I feel better!
You’re so smart, Jonathan! Okay, so if you want to use Wild Orange, how would you do it?
I just like to take off the caps and smell the oils. Or put them in my diffuser. That works too.
Perfect! Thank you so much for your help, Jonathan!
*insert lots of hugs and snuggles here*
And there you have it, folks! The top 6 essential oils that every child will love, according to a 6-year-old child himself
If you are planning on buying some essential oils and starting to use them with your children, be sure to get these child-approved ones! You’ll definitely need more than just these six oils, but this should help you get started.
But just remember: if you do plan on having a diffuser in your child’s room, and if you give them the freedom to choose their own essential oils from time to time, make sure you hide your Melissa oil! Children seem to love that one too, so protect it with your life!