Tapping on and clearing all the “aspects” of a problem is just as important when tapping with children as it is for resolving any adult issue with EFT. Ann Adams, EFT Practitioner and Campus Director at a residential care facility for Severely Emotionally Disturbed children, explained to the children she worked with that “problems are like puzzles”
“I explained how problems were like puzzles and that puzzles have a lot of pieces. That the first step was to think about your problem and then pick what piece of it you want to work on. Then, when that piece of the problem was fixed you would pick another piece until all the bad feelings were gone.” Ann Adams
This is a very useful concept in helping children to identify and tap on all the aspects of their problem. It is a simple metaphor that kids can easily relate to and an important “trick of the tapping trade” according to the TapMeister in my book Tapping For Kids.
“In this practice lesson you will learn that ‘problems are like puzzles’ and another important trick of the tapping trade is to tap on all the pieces of the puzzle to make sure the job is really done!…When you think about your ‘problems as puzzles’, you can see that there are different pieces joined together to make up the whole problem and all the bad feelings that go with it….” The TapMeister
How To Help Your Child Tap On All The ‘Pieces Of The Puzzle’
Making Mini Movies
Say the child you are tapping with is having problems with bullying. Ask the child to pick a “piece of the puzzle” that makes up the problem they are having and get them to play a movie in their mind of that part of the puzzle, while they tap on their points.
“Say you are being teased by someone at school. One part of the problem may be that you are really scared of bumping into them. The first step then is to tap on this piece of the puzzle by tuning in to this part of the problem.” The TapMeister
When that piece is neutralized ask them to pick up another piece, or the next biggest piece and repeat the process until there are no more pieces to tap on.
“Then when this part no longer bothers you, pick another piece of the puzzle. You do this until you have tapped on every piece of the puzzle until all the bad feelings are gone” The TapMeister
Listening To Their Story
Another way is to simply allow the child to tell their story out loud while they tap. If they are willing to talk about it then continue by listening attentively and calmly, without judging, blaming, lecturing or telling them what he or she should have done (which we are often tempted to do.) The idea is to let all your child’s feelings and concerns to be expressed while they tap. Encourage your child to tell you the whole story by asking questions like “and then what happened?” and “what else happened?” This will allow the different aspects of the problem to be uncovered. Continue with this process, until the issue is completely neutralized.
Silent Movies – When a Child Won’t Talk
If a child is ashamed, guilty or fears being punished for something that has happened or that they have done, they are less likely to talk or explain their story in full or at all. Fortunately this process can be used without the need for the child to necessarily verbalize their problem. They can do it all in their mind by making mini movies and tapping on each piece of the puzzle in silence. Tell them they can make their very own “Silent Movie” if they don’t want to talk about it.
In her work with children, Ann Adams will often tell an upset child in her faculty who hasn’t been introduced to EFT yet that, “I’m going to give you something to calm yourself down and you don’t even have to talk to me.” She points out that “not asking a child to talk ‘sets you apart’ from all other professionals who have tried to help this kid” The Promise Of Energy Psychology pg 168
I have actually found that when a child is given the opportunity/permission to tap on their issue “silently” they will more likely talk about “what happened” afterwards. This is great for actually opening up communication and dialog with a child who may not otherwise be willing to talk. This method also opens the door for children who simply have difficulty communicating or expressing how they feel in words.
Author of Tapping For Kids
Advanced EFT Practitioner
+61417 391 055