Tapping Tip - Tapping with Kids
Before I start, please note these tips are just from my experience, and not exhaustive. I’m still learning!! I’ve not done any specific training in this area yet and would love to hear your feedback and tips so we can learn this together. (If you’re new to Tapping/Emotional Freedom Technique, read this and come back).
Tapping on my emotions over the past 4 years has been life changing. It’s enabled me to heal my trauma, release my past and live a much happier life. I am so less anxious than I was before we lost our daughter Alice.
Imagine how amazing it will be to share this technique with our children. From in utero to the age of 6 children’s brains operate in ‘Theta’ state, which essentially means they’re in a meditative state absorbing the world around them. They live in their own internal world of imagination, daydream and creativity. This is the perfect brain state for learning. The down side, is that they absorb everything around them, consciously and subconsciously, and at this time that they shape their belief system - positive and negative. (More on limiting beliefs here).
Tapping can be so effective in releasing emotions as they arise before they become limiting beliefs ). Kids are able to shift energy and let go quicker than adults, so often just a little tapping can do the job.
My goal is to teach my boys a tool for releasing their negative emotions; in a bid to prevent them creating a large negative belief system - lets face it they’re going to think negatively at some points in their lives, but I’d like to give them to tools to minimise it as much as possible. Using this tool with them now will give them the confidence to use it later in life, when it might be needed even more.
Going back a bit, I didn’t start tapping with Casper until he was around 2 to 2.5 years old. (I Tapped on Josh quickly after he was born, but Tapping with Babies is a whole other blog post so I’ll come back to that). With Casper I tried to tap ‘on’ him when he was in the height of a tantrum or not his usual chirpy self. He immediately bat my hand away. He had no idea what I was trying to do ‘to’ him. I was just coming at him at a time he was feeling angry or vulnerable. That was definitely an ERROR!!! I quickly backed off.
One evening I suggested Tapping to him when he wasn’t feeling great (anger seems to be his prevalent negative emotion) and after a few minutes he said ‘I’ll do it Mummy’, and that was my lightbulb moment. Rather than tapping on him, he wanted the control of his own body - it made perfect sense. I tapped on myself while he copied. I’m not even sure we got through a full round, and we may not have even said many words, but it was a start.
Only a month ago, he’s now 3 and a half, he was struggling to sleep and as I was lying in bed with him I started tapping on the points I could reach. Top of his head, eyebrow, side of the eye, under nose, chin and collar bone/chest. Within 2/3 rounds he had fallen asleep. Casper now regularly requests tapping from both me and my husband to help with sleep and Dave obliges even though he can’t remember all of the points - Casper corrects him!
Cut to last Sunday, in the middle of a melt down (anger again) I suggested some tapping, as an alternative to some time out. During this tantrum he was throwing toys at me but I kept going. I started tapping on myself and said ‘I’m so angry’, ‘I’m so angry’, ‘Mummy makes me so angry’, ‘I’m throwing toys because I’m so angry’. He managed to copy me on a few of these, maybe not repeating, and he raised an eyebrow at the ‘throwing toys’ remark. I then decided to change my tactic to the positive statement quite quickly and I said ‘I just want to be happy’. Well, he suddenly leapt off our pouf and jumped into my arms - I was a good few feet away. We had a really lovely cuddle and then it was as if we both just forgot the whole thing. We enjoyed the rest of our day together.
I felt like this was a bit of a breakthrough. Now it doesn’t mean he will be forever amenable to this technique, but it means I feel more confident in continuing to try.
Ok, after all that waffly preamble, here are my tips!!!!
Use tapping with your kid(s) when you are feeling calm. Or tap on yourself first to get to that position, then tap with them. (This is because they’ll be sensing your stress)
Be patient and persistent it could take a while for them to understand it and feel value
Tap on the head, start of eyebrow, temple, under nose, chin, and chest points - see pic below
Try make it fun - as in turn the negative into some fun positives e.g. I’m such a good boy, mummy and daddy love me anyway, I’m such a happy girl…
Model behaviour - show them you doing it, explain how it helps you or makes you feel
Tell them about your emotions - I’m angry too Jonny, I’m so sad because of xyz
Meet them where they’re at and validate their emotions e.g. ‘ it’s ok to feel worried about starting school, I’m sure most boys and girls will be feeling nervous about starting school too’
Be on their level and give them eye contact (even if they are avoiding it - that’s ok, at least they can see you trying to be very present).
Tap on them in bed to help them sleep - no need to say anything
For anyone who is familiar with tapping, don’t do the set up statement just get straight into tapping
If they don’t want to tap on themselves, they can tap on a teddy/doll, it will work as if they are tapping on themselves
Some kids can’t verbalise their feelings, so even just the act of tapping while they are feeling what they are feeling will still work
You can try saying the words for them, they can just tap along
Use their language and speak in first person ‘I’m so angry’, ‘I’m so sad’, ‘my tummy hurts’
Don’t worry about tapping all of the points or using the top down sequence, just tapping on any of the points will have an effect
If they can’t verbalise an emotion start with their physical symptom ‘I’ve blue butterflies in my stomach’ - might be nervousness about starting school, after a while they might open up as to the why behind it
For older children who can verbalise well, maybe their issue is more belief based; ‘I’m afraid no one will like me’, ‘I’m not good at football’, ‘No one will pick me on their team’. Just tap on the words they give you
With older children you could ask them the emotion they’re feeling, where in their body and to give it a colour and start tapping on that.
Tap on yourself. The more we heal ourselves, the happier we feel, the happier everyone around us will feel. The butterfly effect is so cool ;)
Go easy on yourself, you are doing an amazing job. The fact that you are reading this tells me that. Don’t put any more pressure on yourself than there already is, this is a helpful tool that’s all.
Lots of love + thanks for reading.
If you have any questions or own advice please share in the comments below.
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