By Angie Muccillo Author of Tapping For Kids
When your child comes to you in an uncontrollable fit of anger following an incident at school for example, how do you respond or handle the situation?
Do you get angry yourself?
Do you offer reassurance and try to clam your child down with soothing words?
Do you listen to their story?
Do you try and distract them from their emotions with another activity?
Do you try and offer solutions or help them come up with their own?
Do you dismiss it because in your eyes they are overacting?
Do you feel frustrated and powerless because you haven’t a clue what to do?
These might be some of the ways parents respond to a child who is in the middle of an emotional crisis. As parents who have experienced this scenario would probably know, it can take quite some time to get your child to calm down and furthermore resolve the issue, even with a lot of attention and guidance from you. If left alone to ‘work it out’, the child might internalize that anger, without having an appropriate means of releasing it. Sometimes parents don’t have the time, energy and resources to handle a child in crisis. With EFT as an intervention, your child’s emotional crisis can be dealt with in the moment and can be diffused within minutes.
For parents who have not heard of EFT, it is a remarkable energy technique for safely and naturally releasing negative emotions by tapping on various acupressure points on the body and can be used to effectively handle your child’s emotional crises and at the same time diffuse and calm your own reactions – making it an empowering method for both children and parents. With the application of EFT your child’s emotional state can be transformed from screaming and yelling, crying or panicking one minute to peaceful, calm and happy the next.
A mother recently told me about her 7 year old daughter who came home from school one day in such a fury over an incident with a boy, that she was not only totally taken aback by her daughter’s intense anger and hatred towards the boy, but also at a loss as to how to calm her down. Talking it through simply didn’t work and seemed to make her more and more angry. I spoke to the mother about how EFT could have been used as an intervention to release the anger on the spot and help her daughter to calm down, with a strong chance of even forgetting about the matter altogether. As a parent this would have saved her many hours of frustration, since nothing she tried would calm her daughter down.
When a child (or adult) is angry, according to EFT theory, what really occurs is a disruption in the body’s energy system and clearing the disruption by tapping certain acupressure points brings about instant stress relief. In children this appears to happen quite rapidly. I have used EFT with both children and adults and marvel at how children resolve their issues far more rapidly. After tapping a few rounds on an issue that is upsetting them, children will often lose the charge surrounding the issue so that it no longer has a strong emotional pull, leaving them free to get on with playing, having fun and enjoying their precious childhood years.
Let’s imagine now, that your child has learned to tap for themselves and they approach you in a fit of anger. To help your child calm down you could:
Listen to their story and remind them to start tapping as they continue to tell you about what is upsetting them. Remaining neutral, simply LISTEN (without reaction or judgment) and encourage them to tap until they have finished telling you their story. At the end of their story, ask the question: what is upsetting you most about this now? Continue to listen as the child tells you what is upsetting them most. Within a few minutes of tapping it is likely that the anger they felt before they started tapping has been significantly reduced and all you had to do was listen and remind them to tap.
A child who has been properly skilled up in EFT may in future tap on their own and you might only hear the tail end of the story, after which they tapped on it may not be as dramatic or profound. There are also those cases when children won’t talk about what is upsetting them but if they know how to apply EFT themselves they can tap on what is bothering them and release the emotion rather than bottling it up or suppressing it.
Childhood can certainly be a turbulent time but with EFT we can equip children with a simple tool to help them manage their own emotions in times of crisis. Teaching children to tap is not only an excellent way to help them deal with everyday emotional traumas but also prevents the emotional scars of childhood from sticking around until adulthood. In addition, a child who uses EFT everyday strengthens their personal resilience and enhances their emotional intelligence.
In my opinion EFT is a life skill that no child should be without! That is why I have written a book that provides children with a thorough introduction to EFT. “Tapping For Kids” is a children’s EFT book designed to teach 7-11 year olds how to use EFT as a tool to help them overcome their fears, worries everyday traumas as well as build their self-esteem. Click here for more information about the book.
If you would like to know more about how EFT can help children change their emotional state and deal with childhood traumas both big and small, visit the World Centre for EFT’s Children Section to read about how other parent’s, teachers and counselors have used EFT as an effective intervention.
Author of Tapping For Kids
Advanced EFT Practitioner
+61417 391 055