I had the opportunity to teach EFT to a group of 6th graders at my daughter’s school. What a delightful and enlightening experience it was! The children were an enthusiastic audience and were surprisingly open to learning a new and strange-looking tool to help them shift from “Yuck to Yeah!”
During the days preceding the presentation, I noticed that I was feeling really nervous about teaching EFT to a bunch of 11-13 years olds. I have taught EFT to adults many times, so it was really interesting for me to notice how anxious I felt about teaching this younger audience. I found it odd to feel that way. So, I tapped for myself:
Even though I have only made EFT presentation to adults and I don’t have any experience giving presentations to a group of 11-13 years old children, I don’t know how to make things interesting to them…
Even though I don’t know how the children will accept EFT…
Even though I have this powerful inspiration, and I feel conflicted between following it and ignoring it…
Even though I should not have approached the teacher to offer to teach EFT to the class…
Lo and behold, several old memories of past presentations I had given to children popped in my mind. I had forgotten about them! The memory with the strongest emotions attached was when I was in the 6th grade myself. I was writing some schoolwork on the blackboard, and when I turned around to face the class, there were a bunch of kids who were whispering and pointing at me! I didn’t know why they were laughing, but I remembered feeling so outraged and embarrassed. I tapped for those memories:
Even though I hated my 6th grade classmates’ whispers when I was making my presentation to them and I am afraid of the children doing the same thing to me in this presentation, I might lose my cool like I did in my 6th grade class, and embarrass my daughter…
Even though I am afraid to see their contemptuous looks, 6th graders can be so vicious, you know…
Even though I forgot I am an adult now, not another 6th grader myself, I choose to allow myself to feel calm and relaxed when I am presenting EFT to them. We might just have a lot of fun together.
Even though I felt so angry at those ungrateful kids in my 6th grade…
After the rounds of EFT, I felt a lot of relief. In fact, I felt so clear and I felt a surge of energy. I also received new inspirations. I was powered with a clear vision of how I could teach the class in an interesting, fun and engaging way. What was more amazing was that I had the profound clarity of the real reason why I wanted to teach them EFT to begin with: I love these kids! I have known these kids since they were in 2nd grades, and I believe that EFT would be a great asset for them as they navigate their teenage years.
I scoured the EFT website for suggestions on how other EFT practitioners have taught EFT to children. The article from Don Blackerby: Turning Students On to EFT, was extremely helpful to me.
The homeroom teacher and I agreed to present the EFT class in 2 sessions of 45 minutes each. I would teach EFT basics on the first session, and do a follow up in the second session a week later. I divided the first session into three parts.
Part 1: Introduction to the human energy system using audio, kinesthetic, visual aids.
The Audio Aid: I started everyone thumping on the collarbone and chest. I invited them to go “Aaaaah” just like Tarzan would, allowing their voices to ring out clear and strong. That itself was a powerful way to release the tension held in the body. The children felt the uplifting of their energy. They were immediately more present, energized and eager to learn.
The Kinesthetic Aid: Inspired by Don’s article, I asked for several volunteers to demonstrate the affect of thoughts and emotions to the body. I asked a volunteer to say something true like his name or age, while extending one of his arms out, and I pressed gently down on the extended arm (muscle testing). The children witnessed that the pressed arm held strong. Then, I invited the volunteer to say something untrue, and again I pressed his extended arm, and the arm went weak. The children loved this exercise. We did it with positive vs. negative thoughts, with something they like vs. they dislike (food is a great one, here). The idea was to show the children that their body is responsive to their thoughts and emotions.
Then, I introduced the concept of Chi or Life Force flowing through us, animating us. I jokingly asked if I were to drop dead right now, what part of me would be gone? I explained that there is a life force flowing through me while I am alive, and when I am dead, the life force simply stops flowing through me.
The Visual Aid: I cut a lemon in half and squeezed the juice out of one half. Then, holding the squeezed lemon up, I asked the children whether I would get as much juice out of this squeezed lemon as I would have from a freshly cut lemon. They all clearly saw I wouldn’t. I explained that when we are strained, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, sick, feeling yucky, scared or all knotted up inside, we feel a lot like the squeezed lemon: we don’t have much left to give out. The children were quick to see the importance of re-charging themselves, of taking care of themselves, to clear their knots and yucks, so that their “juices” were up and full again. At this point, I invited them all to learn a new way to recharge and refuel their energy system so they can fill up their juices again with EFT. All were enthusiastic to learn.
Part 2: Teaching the mechanics of EFT:
- Using a slide showing the Chinese Meridian System, I pointed out the various meridian pathways going through the body, and spoke very briefly about acupuncture as a healing art going back thousands of years ago and how acupuncture has been very useful in helping people heal by clearing the blockages and imbalances in the meridian pathways.
- Using a slide showing the tapping points of EFT (the short cut version: KC, points of face and under the arm, plus top of head) I walked them through the tapping points.
- I explained the concept of the yin and yang. How all of nature seeks balance and thrive when balance is achieved. I explained the setup statement as a rebalancing process. In the first part of the setup statement, we acknowledge the problem, then on the second part of the setup statement, we acknowledge and recognize the goodness in them. I used the simple statement: Even though I —(whatever issue), I am a good boy/girl. I explained to them that they could create whatever positive statement that worked better for them.
Part 3: Experiencing EFT through group tapping:
I asked the children for a topic to tap as a group, and they chose: “Doing Homework Sucks” as the title of their topic. I went around the room and asked for their intensity level about doing homework, and they generally scaled at an intensity level of 8 to 10 – During our tapping, what came up were many interesting aspects:
I always have to do things I don’t want to do
I would rather do something else, but don’t have a choice
I feel angry and tired
I don’t have much freedom
I feel overwhelmed
I feel scared
Homework is child-abuse
I explained I like to tap in positive rounds as well. So, we tapped in:
What if I could relax about homework?
What if I could develop a new attitude about homework?
What if homework wasn’t created to limit my freedom but to build my strength? (I could feel the resistance here…)
What if I could just find a way to do homework that feels easy and relaxing for me?
What if homework could be fun? (Some eyebrows were raised in disbelief, but they diligently tapped anyway…)
At the end of several rounds, I checked their intensity level. Only about 4 people experienced a shift on this subject in a class of 31 people. While I felt disappointed, I let that go, reminding myself that even if only 1 person in the class benefited from EFT, I have accomplished my mission!
As a parting gift, I gave each of them a 4×5 card printed with an image of the EFT tapping points on the face and head, with an example of the setup-statement.
The Second Class
A week later, I returned to the classroom to a bunch of bright and eager faces. I asked them whether they had a chance to use EFT and how their homework experience was since our tapping last week.
One girl said that she tapped when her brother bothered her and she felt better. She was really pleased to have this tool. Another girl said that after the previous week’s tapping on homework, she had done more homework than she needed to, and found that she was happy to do so.
In this second session of EFT, I explained the benefit of using EFT to boost performance and for helping release the anxiety of upcoming events, such as tests. I gave them several examples of how EFT can neutralize the fear that gets in the way of one’s realizing one’s full potential. We did a group tapping process again. This time I asked each of them to write down what they were worried about that was coming up for them, and measured the intensity.
We tapped with the generic phrase, Even though I have this problem, I am a cool kid anyway, and I am open to feeling relaxed and be at peace. After one round, some children noticed their intensity went down. We did two more rounds and I took the pulse of the group again. Most said that they felt very relaxed. Some kids experienced a complete relief while some didn’t. I suspect because they had globally stated their issue.
I ended the presentation with a slide “SHIFT HAPPENS,” which got a lot of attention. Borrowing Don’s brilliant closing summary, I explained that negative emotions is a part of life and releasing negative emotions give them access to their more powerful states of being.
Two days after my last presentation to the class, I was surprised when I was presented with a stack of thank you notes that they had written. I wasn’t expecting anything from them so I was very moved and deeply touched by their gesture of appreciation.
Here are some of the notes from the class:
* Thank you for teaching us about EFT. It helped me a lot when I didn’t want to do my homework.
* Thank you so much for coming into our class and teaching us about EFT. I have used it a lot, whenever I am annoyed or scared. I especially liked the activity with the lemon juice. I found it a lot easier to understand when you use visual. Before we had our first class, you told us that you felt scared. I appreciate that you came in even when you felt that way.
* Thank you Christine for showing us EFT. We had a test in the afternoon and EFT really helped me.
* Thank you for coming to our class and teaching us EFT. I learned a lot about how to calm down. The tapping really works. Like once I was looking at my driveway and it looked ugly. I did the tapping and it didn’t look as ugly.
By Deirdre Brocklebank BA
These notes are suggested as a guide for parents using EFT with their own children as well as for those working with other peoples’ children. The latter could be those doing the EFT as a friend or practitioner or both.
A working knowledge of the EFT terminology is assumed. A child is defined as being between 3.5 years to 14 but this could vary depending on the maturity of the child.
- Establish a safe, welcoming, comfortable environment which may be inside or outside.
- Respect the child’s needs, feelings, etc. and ask what they feel good with.
* Do they want someone with them such as their parent, other relation or friend while they are doing the EFT?
* If they choose to be on their own doing the EFT, do they want to still be able to see their parent or whoever is with them?
* If they are very young, do they want a comforter such as a favourite toy with them?
* Do they want to sit, lie or stand during the EFT?
* Where do they want to sit, lie or stand?
- It is essential to quickly establish rapport and trust with the child. A big part of doing this is to respect but not patronise them. This can be assisted by doing the following:
When identifying their problem, rather than ask for a level of intensity on a scale of 0 to 10, ask:
* How big the problem is, and get them to indicate this in their own way. For example younger children might find it easy to spread their arms apart to indicate the size of the problem (before and after addressing it with EFT).
* For other physical features of the problem. For example, what colour, shape, etc. is the problem?
* What the problem feels like. For example, can you feel this problem anywhere in your body? If so, ask them to show you where it is in/on their body. How does it make them feel? (sad, unhappy, awful, scared).
* Does the problem remind them of anything? For example, they may remember a particular event when they felt a strong emotion and this may have to be addressed with EFT in addition to the original problem they are addressing.
* Speak their language in terms that they can understand. E.g., if doing the Setup statement, for younger children it may more appropriate to use phrases such as “mummy loves me”, I’m a good kid”, “daddy loves me”, rather than the stock phrase of “I deeply and completely love and accept myself”.
* Do whichever routine is appropriate for the age of the child and their problem. For example, Tell the Story is an excellent approach developed by Gary Craig. It is effective for all ages, especially the very young. They simply tell their story about their problem and when you notice they are feeling an emotion you can then address this appropriately. This could be by using a routine with a positive choice statement. Note – It can be very effective to first address all the negatives about an issue such as fear of spiders or being bullied at school. You could then introduce one or more rounds of positive statements until they feel better.
- Tapping on points can be done in several ways but it is important to ask the child which they prefer. For example you can:
* Tap on them (while they are not tapping)
* Tap on yourself while they tap on themselves
* Tap along with them on yourself and also tap on any points you are drawn to, on them, while they tap for themselves.
Note: All the meridian points allow access into the meridian system and the usual points are generally preferred because they have been shown to be effective. However, if a child is lying down for instance, they may prefer you to lightly tap along the points either side of their spine in preference to other points. It is also possible to just touch and/or rub the points rather than tapping them. It may be appropriate to show the child all the ways and do those which they prefer.
- Timing of the EFT is very important, as it is most effective when the person is experiencing the emotions, pain, or feelings of their problem. Therefore, encourage the child to do EFT whenever they feel like doing it. This can be very helpful, for example if the child is being bullied at school they can do EFT at the time or soon after.
* If you know or suspect that the child has a problem such as being bullied at school it can very effective to ask them to talk about their day when they are feeling relaxed. For example, when they are in bed and settling for the night.
- The length of EFT sessions will depend on many factors including the age of the child, their willingness to co-operate and the nature of their problem. It is obviously important to work to their level of commitment and interest but short, spontaneous or regular sessions (if working with a professional therapist) may be most effective. The child could regard the time that you set aside to work with them as being very special, and this in itself can be very rewarding for all those involved.
- It is very important to clear any issues that a parent has around their child. For example, while they generally want the best for their child they may have their own beliefs or expectations around this. These could affect their child. For example, thinking that “I want my child to be the best in the class” could be putting unnecessary pressure on the child to perform. This could be creating its own problems such as anger directed to others, both at school and at home.
EFT is a very creative process. Don’t be bound by rules and methodology. Relax and explore its amazing possibilities. Remember, it is a technique for having F.U.N. (Freeing Unwanted Negativity).
By Judy Whitcraft
For the last four years, I have used EFT in my tumbling and dance studio with my students. I use Gary Craig’s shortcut method.
Lately I have been collecting stories about how the girls ages 8-14, have used EFT on their own, away from the studio. The following are a few of their success stories. It shows that children are actually taking EFT into their lives, and making a difference for themselves and their friends.
Many said they used EFT at school to focus, and calm down before tests. Many said they had used it for headaches, stomach aches, sprained ankles, etc. Many use it for sports performance in soccer, softball, track, weight lifting, etc. for endurance, precision and eliminating fear. The age 11-13 group reported using EFT when they were angry at their parents, siblings, and friends.
* Nicole, age 10, said she tapped when her kitty got hurt and she was scared the leg was going to have to be cut off.
* Kylie, age 11, said she tapped at the hospital when she was afraid her grandma was going to die.
* Quinlynn, age 11, said she always has the flu for 3 days, but this time she tapped many times during the first day of being sick, and she got over it in ONE DAY !
* Trisha, age 14, tapped on her 12 year old brother when he was “freaking out” in the car when a tornado was a mile behind them on the highway.
* Tonya, age 14, taps for the tendonitis in her elbow and keeps the swelling down after softball practice.
* Kristin, age 14, finally was able to get her contacts in, after 8 years of trying!
* Taylor, age 12, tapped on her friend at the track meet, and her friend set a new school record in the high jump! (and her friend gave credit to “that tapping stuff”)
I love that these children are discovering their own power and actually using it to improve their emotional and physical health
By Angie Muccillo
While many of the physical wounds of childhood like scraped knees, broken bones and bruises heal and repair in time, a child’s deep emotional hurts can stay with them for much longer. And, if unresolved, can certainly go on to affect a person’s developing self esteem and relationships with those around him or her.
“Stick and stones can break my bones but words can REALLY hurt me.” Words do stick, as do children’s impressions and interpretations of these words and actions (or lack thereof). Children who are equipped with EFT, have at their disposal an emotional first aid kit for repairing and healing their emotional wounds when they occur. Sometimes in the acquisition of a “physical wound” is an underlying story or emotional trauma that can be repaired with EFT. Listening to and tapping on the event that caused the child’s physical wound can reveal and heal the emotional wounds gained in the process.
Aisha is an 8 year old who scraped her knee at school after falling over. I was visiting with her and her mother when she started complaining about the pain in her knee. I asked her if she wanted to tap for her scraped knee to help it get better quicker. We started with:
Even though I fell over and scraped my knee, I’m still a great kid.
Even though my knee hurts, I’m still a great kid
Then I asked her what had happened to get the scraped knee. This is when she launched into a story about how she and her best friend were racing to get to a teacher on the playground first. In the process Aisha fell over, while the other girl kept running, reaching the teacher first. I then asked her, how that made her feel and we consequently tapped on..
Even though it hurt that she didn’t stop to help me when I fell over…
Even though she doesn’t care about me because she kept running…
Even though she should’ve looked back to see if I was ok…
At the beginning of the tapping the hurt and disappointment she felt was at a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10. She was clearly upset about it and the image of the incident was vivid in her mind. The emotional trauma – the hurt and disappointment was much greater than the fact that she’d hurt her knee. After several rounds of tapping on all the aspects that upset her about the incident, she no longer felt the hurt and realized that her friend did care and maybe she hadn’t seen her fall over. This is a wonderful cognitive shift that occurred spontaneously as happens often when EFT is applied to an emotional issue.
Was this a major incident? Perhaps not in the eyes of an adult but to Aisha this was a big deal that not only affected her friendship but also dampened her otherwise high spirits. These incidences happen every day in our homes, in the schoolyard and at play. Who knows if she would have gone on to forget about it in time, but by tapping on it now while it was fresh, she had the chance to patch up and close this otherwise gaping emotional wound, which may have remained open and vulnerable for who knows how long. Instead she was able to genuinely, quickly and easily move on from the incident, restoring a balanced picture of the incident, herself and her friend.
I suggested to her that she use tapping as “First Aid” anytime she gets hurt by tapping on the event that caused the injury. She thought that was a great idea!!
By Patsy Anthony
I hope this letter may inspire some hesitant teachers to try tapping with the children in their classes, or encourage a few parents to enlighten their children’s teachers to the benefits of EFT in our schools
For the past two years I have been continually amazed by the healing powers EFT. I have overcome my Crohn’s disease, astonished my surgeon by tapping away severe pain due to a lack of cartilage in my knee, and completely relinquished a long standing fear of flying. My greatest delight, however, has been teaching EFT to the children in my classroom. What a privilege it has been to help children with fears and anxieties work through their emotions so easily and effectively.
Recently there was a “snow day” at my school. In southwestern BC, when it does snow heavily, roads become treacherous. The school buses managed to arrive safely, however some children entered my classroom feeling very anxious. Their bus had fishtailed down a steep hill and crashed into a rock. Another child had narrowly escaped being hit by a spinning car while waiting for her bus.
It was the day of our Christmas Concert dress rehearsal, a day full of excitement and jitters at the best of times. The grade one teacher and I had previously decided that it would be a perfect day to introduce EFT to her children, as they were very nervous about performing on stage. Amidst all of the chaos and excitement of this snow day, she brought her grade ones into my class so that my Grade Four students could teach them how to tap in their newly official roles as “Peer Tappers”.
I have been very fortunate to have many of my students join me for a second year, in a new grade, and it has been wonderful to notice how skilled they are becoming with EFT. We try it on “just about anything” in our class. Every week we tap before Math tests. We usually use the Borrowing Benefits technique, where I choose one child from the group, usually one who shows me more than seven fingers, signaling significant emotional intensity on a scale of 0 to 10, to tap in front of the class while the rest tap along. We spend time discussing how that child is feeling, since often he or she will give me some brilliant insights. One boy recently said, “When I have to write a test it’s like I have all these locked doors in my mind and I can’t find the right key to unlock them.”
I am always amazed by the remarkable improvements made by those children who tap on their worries before exams. The very first time I taught EFT to my students, every single child improved their test scores from the previous week, some by more than 20%. These results have continued to impress all of us over the past two years. Here is an example of some of the words we have tapped on for test anxieties:
Even though I feel really stressed about writing this math test and my throat feels dry and I find it hard to swallow, and it’s hard to breathe, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to do my best and show how smart I really am… I’m still an awesome kid.
Following is what we said while tapping the EFT points:
I’m feeling really stressed! I have to write a math test!
My throat is really dry! It’s hard to breathe!
What if I don’t know all the answers?
What if I don’t improve my score?
What if I make mistakes? Oh no! (humour)
Well, all I can do is try.
All I can do is try my best.
That’s all I can do.
I’ll try my best.
I really do know a lot!
I’m a smart kid!
I’m getting smarter every day!
I’m actually brilliant!
I’m going to ace this test!
And even if I do make a mistake or two, I’m still an awesome kid!
I always use the child-friendly term, “I’m still an awesome kid” because it inevitably brings smiles to their faces. I also refer to EFT as “tapping” with young children.
I wish I could relate all the wonderful examples of the various and unique ways in which we have tried EFT in my classroom. EFT has helped children suffering from test anxiety, separation anxiety, social difficulties, anger, frustration, guilt, fears, aches and pains, lying, stealing, dyslexia and ADHD.
It is an especially effective tool for enabling children, especially those who are perfectionists, to stop beating themselves up for making mistakes. Some children are harder on themselves than anyone else in their lives will ever be, and this creates huge anxiety issues for them. EFT alleviates anxiety better than any other technique I have ever seen used in schools.
One boy last year began crying while attempting to complete his map of Canada test. “I can’t remember the Territories! I knew them yesterday but not today,” he sobbed. After a brief round of tapping, I asked if he could remember just one territory. He said, “Sure, I can remember them all, and the capitals too.” He achieved one hundred percent on his test.
Another boy had an anxiety attack during a government exam because he couldn’t think of a thing to write. After tapping on the fact that he was usually full of ideas, just not for the “government,” his pencil started flying and his exam results showed that he’d exceeded expectations for his grade level.
Last year a girl adamantly refused to go on stage for the Christmas Concert because she was going to be sick. After tapping, she joined us with a huge smile on her face. She went further that year to perform in a Shakespearean play with my class. By tapping on her stage fright and her fear of muddling up before an audience, she was able to give a captivating performance in our production of “Twelfth Night for Kids”. It was a performance I know she will always be proud of, thanks to EFT.
Needless to say, my grade four students were thrilled at the thought of becoming “Peer Tappers” and helping the grade ones alleviate their worries about the Christmas Concert. Some grade ones had heard about tapping from big brothers and sisters, so their minds were open; they wanted to learn. First we put stickers on one my student’s self portraits to show where to tap. Next, I demonstrated what words might be useful by working with a volunteer in front of the group. Then the grade ones each chose a big buddy. As the children sat opposite each other on the floor, I watched with tears in my eyes. Every one of my students led a little buddy through a personal tapping session. It was beautiful to watch – one of the highlights of my teaching career!
Once our children had finished tapping, we decided to practice our Christmas Concert one final time. After watching my class perform, the grade one students confidently walked up onto the stage and sang and danced with enormous smiles on their faces. They were delightful!
Unfortunately, our dress rehearsal never took place yesterday. The snow kept falling, parents were worried, teachers were stressed, and concerned bus drivers came to collect the children at lunchtime. It was one of those days that teachers never remember fondly … but not for me.
After I arrived home, the grade one teacher phoned to thank me. She had been so impressed by the leadership role that my students had taken, and by the gentle, insightful ways in which they had taught her children how to tap. She was inspired by the possibilities of using EFT in her classroom and the doors that would now open for her young students. We came to realize, through this conversation, that we had both had one of the best days of teaching in our lives. While all around us frantic teachers were dealing with problems at school, our two classes were
like islands full of peaceful, happy energy. Even the most challenging children in our classes were calm, quiet and content after beginning the day with EFT. So too, were we.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day at school could begin like that? What if we could start each morning tapping with our children, so that no matter what occurs, no matter what worries our children might encounter throughout the day or throughout their lives, they would always feel that they are “awesome kids”!
By Kim Eisen
It’s amazing what some children have to go through so young in life. I had a mother and stepmother bring in a 15 year old girl who was, in their belief, out of control, angry, rebellious and they didn’t know what to do. Of course, the girl walked in with arms crossed and huffing and puffing that she didn’t need to be here. I’ll call her Beth.
I assured her that I knew she didn’t want to be there, but since she is here let’s make the best of it and maybe even have some fun. Beth’s’ eyes rolled. I did talk to the mothers about how this is a family thing and how I appreciated that they were working together on this and not blaming one or the other. But, I also thought it was imperative that they come separately on their own, as well, just to go over anything they might be contributing to the circumstances from their own issues of life, or at the very least, come into some type of understanding.
I think this is important because if we can help the whole family become healthier individually then the whole family unit should stand better as one.
So Beth was still cross-armed when I asked her to sit down and relayed several times that she didn’t need to be there. I told her I understood, but here we are. “So,” I said “What’s up? Why do you think you’re here?”
Beth: Well, my mom thinks _ and my stepmom thinks _ and, they just don’t get it . . . they’re just stupid! Sound familiar?
Me: Well, out of all that, what bothers you the most right now?
Beth: My mothers baby my little sister, Natalie, like she can’t do no wrong!
Me: OK, want to try something cool?
Beth: Uh, sure?
Me: OK, like let’s just have some fun (change your words to fit the person).
Me: All you have to do is say what I say and do what I do.
Me: We’re just going to tap on some points and I’ll just show you them on me, then I’ll do it on you so you like can feel it, OK?
Tapping: Even though they baby Natalie and act like she can’t do anything wrong, I’m still a good kid. Then we tapped on the EFT points alternating the reminder phrases, They baby Natalie – She doesn’t do ANYTHING wrong.
Me: Anything come up that you thought about why we were doing that?
Beth: Yes, Natalie gets to go to gymnastics and they go to all her meets, everyone goes and when I had basketball, they were always too busy, that’s why I quit, since they weren’t going to come anyway and now they’re mad at me for that. And, when I was young the only thing I really really wanted to do was join gymnastics but there was never enough money, even though, I think there was, but they didn’t want to take the time out for me. My real dad left me when I was little and my ‘Dad’ who is now with my stepmother has a whole new family and Natalie is really his.
NOTE: A ton of information here. Get this, she is basically nobody’s little girl and certainly no dad’s real child, in her eyes – this was big. Knowing the families, she’s not that far off between what she thinks and what’s real. Although because of these thoughts she was unconsciously pulling away from the stepdad or the only viable father she had ever had to solidify her thoughts about it and make it even more real that she wasn’t any good.
Tapping: Even though Dad has a new family, I’m still a great kid. With the reminder phrase, Dad has a new family.
Some may not agree with this, but I had a feeling that this would more quickly bring up what we really needed to work on, and it did, this is where the tears started flowing and continued most of the session with a ton of aspects coming out about her real feelings with everyone involved and how she saw them.
We went for 45 minutes straight after that, addressing each aspect as it arose. Finally the tears stopped. And in Beth’s words ‘Wow, I really feel better’. And I could see it in her face.
In 15 short years she had accumulated so much distress and worked harder and harder to become perfect for them, that she finally broke down and her only apparent choice was rebellion, beyond what we might call the ‘normal’ teenage rebellion. When I brought her out of my office, she actually was kind to her mother and just wanted to go home and sleep. Her mother told me later that on the way home, she just talked about how cool it was and she wanted to come back. And, she will. My hope is that the parents will take advantage of this for themselves as I truly believe it will contribute to everyone’s happiness.
By Steve Levine, EFT-ADV
Over the past 5 years of being an Advanced EFT practitioner and a guitar instructor I’ve seen so many emotional and physical issues relieved with EFT it just amazes me. Here are some of them:
1) Students who complain of finger pain get instant relief by simply tapping the fingers of the opposite hand that hurts. Typically the left hand fingers hurt the most from pressing on the strings. The youngsters I teach they are amazed when there pain is gone in two to three rounds of simple finger tapping.
2) A 15 year old student who continually beat herself up for not playing the right notes got relief in one session. This turned out to be a global OCD issue which affected her in all areas of her academic life. She felt the need to do everything perfectly the first time. The OCD started when her second grade teacher scolded her for not drawing a good picture and promptly crumbled up her picture and threw it in the garbage. From then on she would obsess over doing everything perfectly related to schoolwork and learning. She feared being reprimanded for not doing perfect work. All this was gone with 30 minutes of EFT.
3) A 50 year old student complained of hearing loss and tinnitus in his left ear. This was the result of a surgery for an abscess in his ear 10 years prior that left him with 50% hearing loss and tinnitus. We tapped for less than 10 minutes, focusing on just the tinnitus in his left ear. His hearing returned and his tinnitus reduced to almost zero! He said that he could hear in “3D” for the first time in years. He was simply shocked and astounded.
4) Students often come in to their first lesson with anxiety about learning music, new teacher, performance anxiety etc. Since it is their first lesson I use mental or remote EFT, just imagining the meridian points lighting up red. Usually in 5 minutes all of them are relaxed and ready to learn. I can do this while I’m teaching.
5) On many occasions I’ve had students who were squinting to see the notes. I ask them if they are having trouble seeing. If they say yes I ask if they would like to try a simple technique that may help them to see better. This has never failed me. Every student that has had blurry vision had it clear up with about 5 minutes of EFT. All of them were younger students from 5-15 years old.
6) Students with physical complaints of headaches, neck pain, back pain, leg pain, wrist pain (carpal tunnel), and foot pain all get relief with less than 10 minutes of EFT. There are also many one minute wonders.
7) Students with allergies, runny noses, coughing, itchy eyes, get a good degree of relief within minutes of applying EFT.
8) Students who come in with anger or depression issues from home or school get quick relief and can then focus easily on their lesson.
9) Students with ADD/ADHD often need more EFT than I can give them in a 30 minute lesson. Ten minutes of EFT seems to calm them down enough to be able to focus for the duration of the lesson. I often use remote EFT as the physical tapping takes too much time away from the lesson.
10) This one is probably the greatest asset to any teacher who struggles with a rowdy group of students and it is EFT at its best. Can you imagine a classroom full of rowdy kids and all of them with EFT points lighting up at the same time? I’ve tried it and actually have seen them calm down within about 5 minutes. It is possible to do this but requires very good visualization. If you are a teacher familiar with remote or distance EFT try it sometime. If you can’t visualize the whole classroom of kids just try a few of the loudest troublemakers first. You may be very surprised by what is possible just using your imagination and EFT!
As you can see EFT has been a Godsend for my students and myself. EFT has allowed me to teach music much more effectively. The results I see with so many different types of issues are close to 100%. In my humble opinion EFT should be a standard therapy every teacher should know.
By Kim Eisen
In my opinion EFT is the #1 resource for reducing children’s traumas whether it’s after the fact or in the moment. What adults may think is a small issue can be huge to a child, and we should treat it accordingly. If we take the seconds or minutes needed to neutralize what’s bothering them, they may not have to grow up with tons of issues (barring extreme trauma, but even that may be neutralized).
Hopefully this will help you gain a little understanding of how to work with children using EFT at different ages. Kids get EFT fast, although our wording needs to be changed slightly according to their understanding and verbiage, i.e. The Magic Buttons vs. the tapping points.
Often, when kids learn EFT, they want to teach it to their parents and peers because they think it’s cool. They usually don’t do a whole bunch of issues, just what is bothering them, and go off to play because it has fallen from their ‘now’ as a problem. Younger children don’t seem to carry too much into the moment, unless they have had severe trauma.
I have noticed that children who are more emotional or empathetic may tend to carry the unspoken or energetic emotions of the parent. For instance if a parent thought they, themselves were dumb in school … or didn’t fit in … and have strong feelings about it, the child (usually 5-7 years) may pick this up for what appears to be no reason and start saying things like ‘I’m stupid’ or ‘I’m dumb’ without having had direct experience of that.
This can also apply to certain fears and anxieties. So, if this seems to be exhibited in the child, the parents may wish to go back and tap on themselves for their own fears and anxieties, before working with the child.
In the 7 to 11 year old stage of development, children are quite self-centered and self-conscious (a natural stage). They are learning peer behavior techniques and going back and forth between independence and co- or inter-dependence. They are perfect candidates for EFT if it is approached correctly, as it gives them the freedom to do something for themselves with satisfying results. And, they may be likely to use it in the moment, which could be significant to their overall emotional growth.
Rather than give them homework with tapping as we do for adults, I let them know that they can use this at anytime they feel hurt, sad or angry. And, sometimes as a gentle reminder that they know how to do it, we do a quick run through. I would caution, though, that if they have a ‘big’ issue (i.e. rape, incest, murder, etc.) that they work with a professional. But for everyday hurts or issues, this would greatly improve their future adult life, as they wouldn’t carry the hurts with them.
One note is that in divorce situations it is important to do EFT to address that the divorce is not the children’s fault and address any reasons that they might think it’s their fault. And, as a note to parents who are divorcing, do not argue in front of the children (they don’t need to know everything) or put down the other parent because the ‘other’ is their parent and they inherently love them. Don’t take that away from them (barring abuse).
With EFT and 7 to 11 year old children, once they learn the technique, they will usually do EFT in the moment or shortly after an issue arises when they re-remember it – such as bed time or alone time. They should be instructed that they can use this anytime they feel like it and that it is best to say what they think happened and how it honestly made them feel (not what they think they should have felt). For example:
Even though my best friend didn’t talk to me today and I don’t know why and it hurt my feelings, I’m still a great (good) kid
Even though my mom and dad fight and it scares me, it’s not about me and I’m still a great kid.
Sometimes they are sad and they don’t know why or may not wish to discuss it with you. In those cases, teach them to tap generally:
Even though I’m sad and don’t know why, I’m still a great kid – usually something will show up.
Even though I’m sad about something (they don’t have to say what it is to you), I’m still a fabulous kid. They may discuss it with you later, or not, but the important thing is to get them feeling better.
Children who are 3 to 6 years old are mostly self centered and self-conscious and more into finding their boundaries by showing shadows of independence. They just know what they want and when they want it (most thinking the world revolves around them – again, a natural stage of growth – hence, everything is caused by them. i.e. divorce, abuse, upsets, etc.).
This important stage of self development makes it more appropriate for a professional or a parent to work with them as they are mostly co- or inter-dependent (although some parents would argue this point as the new children are very independent in their thoughts), but nonetheless, they rely on their parents or guardians for many things.
When working with EFT and the 3 to 6 year old, you’ll probably have a good handle on most things that bother your children and they are pretty good at letting you know. You’ll usually be working with them in the moment – whether they are sad, hurt, angry, or having a tantrum. In introducing EFT to them, I usually ask if they want to play a game, or try something really neat that could help them feel better. (Except for tantrums or anger directed at you, in which you’ll probably have to surrogate tap on yourself for them).
If they agree, I show them their ‘Magic Buttons’ (or call them whatever you wish) and I instruct them to say what I say, and to do what I do. Use words that you know that they will understand. It is magic, after one or two rounds, they’ve forgotten (neutralized) the emotion and go off and play. You’ll know they are done, because they talk about something else and may even be bored because they’re done and there is no reason to continue the game. Eventually, these children will start using it on their own and should be encouraged to do so.
Although this may be a delicate subject to some, if their upset is caused by someone else, it is extremely important for the child to realize, and for you to impart to the child that ‘other’ people have their own way of doing things, good or bad, and although it may be different, unfair or not nice, it has nothing to do with ‘them’ (“It’s not about you”). Furthermore, there are many good people who are like us, and, different from us, and that’s what makes the world such a wonderful place.
The 12-16 year old stage involves peer acceptance, self identity (more independence) and the feeling or fear of lost-ness in leaving who they thought they were … to becoming someone else … but they’re just not quite sure what that is. It’s a little scary and even though they don’t want to be inter-dependent, they don’t want to be alone (and many think they are completely alone in someway).
They think they’re grown-up, and don’t want to go to their parents or other adults, but don’t know what to do, nor do they have the capability to handle things on their own or with an equal. The freedom of EFT in assisting them to adulthood can launch them beyond their expectations of what they can do.
Working with EFT and the 12-16 year old – I left this one for last as it can be a dichotomy, because if they ‘get it’ with EFT and use it, it’ll do wonders and have had great success. I would just introduce it as indicated in the 7-11 year old section, just changing the wording to be more expressive. You will have to speak their language such as ‘like’ ‘uhhh’ ‘really cool’, etc. (you get the point).
Again, if they think it’s cool, they’ll teach everyone they know. If they think ‘they know it all’ you’ll have a more difficult time to even get them to the table to introduce it. This is probably where you’ll want a professional (outsider, not mom or dad) to work with them or teach them EFT.
All in all, children are not that much different from adults with the range of emotions that they might experience. They just have the benefit of not carrying around baggage or issues for as long. Learning EFT now can save them tons of heartache and hurt in the future or at the very least the amount of time they carry it. What a gift you can give them!
By Mary Stafford M.Ed.,LPC, EFT-Adv
In 4 years ago I read an article in the newspaper by a school teacher who was very concerned about the great stress children are put under by the standardized tests required at the end of every year. The teacher who wrote the article was named Wendy Goodman; I looked her up in the phone book and called her. The person who answered the phone said she was not the teacher who wrote the letter to the paper, but she was a teacher with 15 years experience who was so stressed this year that she was considering leaving teaching.
This was her first year teaching in South Tucson, a very poor part of town. She reported that the children were very stressed and said and did things to one another that distracted the class from the lesson she was teaching. She found it very hard to get the attention of the class back on the lesson.
I told her that there was a very simple version of EFT that she could use with her second graders that I called the EFT Shortcut for Children. There are only 4 points to tap (3 of which I got from the EFT video set “Steps Toward Becoming The Ultimate Therapist.”
- The top of the head
- Slapping with an open hand across the collarbone points.
- The inside of each wrist
- The inside of each leg above the ankle.
Children frequently are able to benefit from EFT without doing the Set-Up so I didn’t include it. I suggested she take her class thru the EFT shortcut before the standardized testing and whenever the class had been disrupted.
A month later I spoke to her and she reported that she had done as I suggested. She took the class thru the EFT shortcut before the standardized test. The next time that she announced a test to the class they all began tapping without her saying a word. She also reported that she found that when a student disrupted the class by doing something to another student, if she directed the class to go thru the same tapping process, then the class would settle down quickly and pay attention to the lesson being taught.
The following year she taught 3rd.grade. At the end of that year she called me to tell me that the principal took her aside and told her how happy he was with the gains that her students had made in the standardized testing. He said her class had done better than the other classes in the school. She also said that when parents came to her with problems with their children, she told them about the EFT shortcut tapping process. She also told the other teachers and taught them how to use this simple approach.
She is still successfully using the EFT shortcut with her classes and her children.
Mary E.Stafford, M.Ed.,LPC, EFT-AdvM.Ed.,LPC, EFT-Adv
I hope that someday the public media will pick up on this article and broadcast its benefits to the world. The idea, in my opinion, deserves a prominent place on “60 Minutes”, “Oprah”, and every parent/child oriented publication on the planet.
Properly done, this idea will launch our children into an adulthood filled with high levels of inner peace and self confidence. If every child was given these benefits our eventual opportunities for world peace would far exceed those promised by our military and its bombs and other threats. Indeed, if everyone received these benefits skillfully, our military, bombs and other threats would likely become unnecessary. War is not needed for those who truly have personal peace.
The Basic Idea:
The basic idea is simple. Every night, while children are being tucked into bed, parents should ask…
“Can you tell me about your good and bad thoughts as well as the good and bad things that happened to you today?”
Then, as the events are being told (both good and bad), the parents should lightly and lovingly either tap or gently rub the EFT points.
Experienced EFT’ers can readily see the benefit for tapping on the “bad” things (we’ll talk about tapping on the “good” things later). As the child tells the story s/he is clearly “tuned into” the problem. Thus tapping on the EFT points is likely to resolve the issues or, at the very least, lighten their impacts on the child.
This is critical for children because they are constantly picking up “stuff” from parents, teachers, peers, television and so on. These inputs go on daily and accumulate over the years to fill what we adults often call our “emotional garbage bags.” If these inputs go unresolved, of course, they form unnecessary “limits” and thwart the attainment of our true potentials. These unnecessary fears, guilts, griefs and traumas often have a thunderous effect on our “adult realities” and cost us dearly in both our personal peace and our pocketbooks.
Some examples of the “bad” things children might bring up would be….
“Daddy scared me when he yelled at me.” “I saw a monster eating people on television.” “My teacher doesn’t think I’m very smart.” “I can’t run as fast as Jimmy.” “Donna is prettier than me.” “The minister said I have to be perfect or God won’t love me.”
There are, of course, thousands of other examples that establish themselves as uninvited guests in children’s psyches. Most of them are fictions and, arguably, have a far greater impact on how a child’s life unfolds than does their education.
Alert parents have an obvious opportunity to ward off these “self confidence suckers” on a daily basis. Further, the process can be very nurturing for both parents and children because children love to be touched (tapped, rubbed) in loving ways. As you are loving your (our) children in this way, you can ask them more questions about “what happened today” and get even deeper into the issues. Further, you can offer reframes (alternative thinking) while doing EFT which are much more likely to be effective than if you were just bringing them up in normal conversation.
This whole process is also useful for pre-verbal infants. Even though infants are not able to tell you what is bothering them, the mere fact that they are crying or exhibiting other signs of distress tells parents that something (e.g. a fear, trauma or physical discomfort) needs to be resolved. During these times of distress the infant is “tuned into” the problem and thus primed for EFT. The addition of EFT tapping to the usual “there-there’s” and other soothing language is likely to pay major long term dividends.
You may have noticed that I didn’t include the EFT Setup phrasing within this process. It would be useful to fit it in, of course, although children seem to be in less need of it than adults. When adding it in you might wish to use the language below (children light up when saying it)….
“Even though I have this _______, I’m still an awesome kid.”
As mentioned earlier, I think it is useful to tap the EFT points even while the child is talking about their “good” thoughts and happenings for the day. Properly done, the parental EFT’ing can add a soothing element to the discussion. Further, even though the child is discussing something positive, there is often a “comparing negative” behind it. For example, if the child says…
“My teacher complimented me today in front of the whole class.”
….the comparing negative behind it might be…
“But sometimes she scolds children or ignores them and I am afraid that will happen to me.”
In this case, even though the tapping is done on the “good” statement by the teacher, it is also likely to reduce the fear involved in the comparing negative. Thus, applying EFT to both the “good” and the “bad” items is likely to provide substantial benefits across the board.
Of course, we are all children (even though some of us have developed a few wrinkles) and thus this article need not be limited to a specific age group. Wouldn’t it be nice, whatever your age, for someone to ask you about your childhood “stuff”? And wouldn’t it be even nicer to resolve those issues daily? Maybe you could trade this favor with someone or just simply go through the process solo.
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
Hugs, Gary Craig