Tapping with Kids
It almost goes without saying that tapping is a great way to help kids feel better when they experience uncomfortable emotions such as fear, sadness and anger. Since so many of the issues that limit our health, wealth and/or happiness today can be linked back to experiences that occurred in our childhood, tapping can also have a profound positive impact on the quality of their lives overall, enhancing their long-term joy and success.
Getting Yourself Clear
When deciding to tap with children, perhaps one of the best things you can do for them is to get clear yourself. If the intention is to “fix” the child, or clear something in them so that you can feel better, the effectiveness of the process may be limited. This is especially true if the child feels you are tapping with them because they are in trouble, and they may feel defensive.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to tap with this child?” See if any of the answers lead to a possible tapping round for yourself, such as:
“Even though I want to fix him …”
“Even though I’m hurting for her …”
“Even though these kids are driving me crazy …”
Get as clear as you can so that your intention is truly for the child’s highest good.
For many children, interacting with an adult can be intimidating – especially if the child is already in a compromised emotional state. While tapping can help ease this, it also helps to build rapport with the child first so that they are more willing to engage – and engage more fully - in the process.
How to best build rapport will vary with different children, but some of the things you can do include:
. Getting down to their level so you see eye-to-eye.
. Using language with which they are comfortable – try to avoid words or concepts that go over their heads.
. Allow them to come to you, rather than forcing yourself into their space.
. Ask them to talk about what they are feeling – hear what their words are.
. Let them know that they are important.
Tapping with the Child
Once you have gotten clear yourself, and built rapport with the child, it’s time to tap.
To start with, identify the issue. As with adults, children could be bothered by a
multitude of issues. If they are having trouble verbalizing what is upsetting them, some of the common things kids might tap on include:
. Feeling that a parent or teacher is mad at them
. Being angry at a sibling or friend
. Feeling like something is unfair
. Sad about something that has happened
. Not feeling well physically
. Fear about an upcoming event – fear that they won’t do well
As with establishing rapport, you will want to use the child’s words as much as possible. Verbally gauging a SUDs level of 0-10 can be somewhat intangible for children (it is for many adults!). Therefore, it may be more effective to have them hold their hands together in front of them (representing a 0 – “not upset”), then spread them all the way apart (representing a 10 – “really really upset!”) – then ask them to show you the level of their upset by how close together they put their hands.
How upset are you?
Not upset – 0 Somewhat upset – 5 Very upset - 10
In terms of a set-up phrase, use the words that feel most right for them. It may be as simple as:
“Even though I’m sad…” or “Even though I have this yucky feeling…”
It may be more specific:
“Even though I’m mad at Sophie for taking my doll…”
While many of us complete the set-up phrase with the statement, “I deeply and
completely loving and accepting myself,” this concept may, again, be a little intangible for kids. Some good alternatives may be, “I’m a great kid” or “I choose to feel good.”
Before you start the tapping, if this is the child’s first experience with tapping, tell them that you are going to show them a simple and fun way to help them feel better. Explain that there are “special” or “magic” points on the body (use your judgment on the wording depending on the age of the child), and that tapping on these points helps to clear away the bad feelings. (A description of tapping for kids is included at www.thewizardswish.com.)
As you tap through the various points, feel free to simply repeat the reminder phrase, i.e. “this sadness.” If you feel comfortable, try other statements that you feel might be appropriate, such as, “this was unfair,” “I’m still mad about this,” and/or “it’s not my fault.” Take the child through a full round, and have them take a full breath. Have them rate how they feel again, and continue tapping as necessary.
Tapping in the Positive
It is helpful to also tap in the statement, “I’m a great kid.” Too often children get
messages that can be damaging to their self-esteem. The tapping process offers a great opportunity to reaffirm positive statements that will have a variety of long-term benefits.
Positive statements can be included in the tapping round on clearing an uncomfortable feeling. Children can also be encouraged to do a tapping round – maybe daily – simply saying positive things about themselves, such as “I’m a great kid… I’m a good student… I’m kind and caring… I’m good at sports…” This works for adults, too. As a person taps while stating affirmations, the unconscious doubts are being cleared.
Tapping with Groups of Kids
If you are in a position to tap with a group of children, such as in a classroom, you have the opportunity to touch a number of lives in a positive way.
In such a group setting, you may not be working with a particular upset, and may want to keep the tapping phrases more general. You might focus on tapping in positive statements, having the group tap along with you as you lead them to say, “I am a great
kid,” “I am having a great day,” and “I’m doing my best today.”
It can also help to touch on the possible blocks that some of the children might be
“I might have some bad feelings… Maybe something happened earlier… And I’m feeling mad or sad… And I choose to let that go… I can let that go… I can choose to feel
The tapping phrases might also be determined by what kind of group it is, and when the tapping is taking place. At the beginning of a class, you might have the children tap to feel focused, perhaps by tapping away the wiggles and giggles. Even tapping silently can help with this, as following your lead engages them in what you are doing, naturally leads them to focus on you, and will also naturally help them calm down.
Working with a group, you also have the opportunity to address some of the issues that you might find yourself tapping on with individuals, such as bullying or lying. Most if not all inappropriate behavior stems from low self-esteem. Tapping on these issues in a group provides a safe place to address these issues and how and why they are wrong – clearing defensiveness in the process – as well as cultivating the positive feelings that will minimize and eventually eliminate the need to act out in disrespectful ways.
The potential benefits extend outside the group tapping opportunity, as kids may well then tap with each other to help each other. They will also hopefully teach it to their families.
There is a host of possible benefits – both short-term and long-term – from teaching children to tap. Fortunately, children are also more in touch with their feelings, often making the tapping more effective. They are also less inhibited, and are likely to be more open to the process.
Brad likes to think of himself as an Evolution Catalyst. He is
known internationally for his creative and often humorous use
of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). He was trained and
certified at the respected Hypnosis Motivation Institute in
Tarzana, CA, where he served on staff. Combining this
background with training in energy psychology and various
schools of thought in the area of personal growth and
achievement, he coaches groups and individuals in achieving
greater success, health and happiness in their lives.
Brad has worked with a diverse group of clients, from CEO's to professional and NCAA athletes, from award-winning actors to clients in programs for homeless men and women and people in recovery from drugs. He has been a presenter at a number of events, including Jack Canfield’s “Breakthrough to Success,” several International Energy Psychology Conferences and the Walk On Water (WOW) Fest in Los Angeles. He is also the author of the s\best-selling children’s book “The Wizard’s Wish,” the co-author of the best-seller "Freedom at Your Fingertips," and is a featured expert in the EFT movie “The Tapping Solution.” Brad has partnered on teleseminars with Joe Vitale and Bob Doyle of “The Secret,” and has been heard internationally on a number of internet radio talk
shows. Brad has also performed internationally doing children’s theater, is a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and has two kids of his own.
A great resource for introducing EFT to children is Brad’s best-selling book:
The Wizard’s Wish Or, How He Made the Yuckies Go Away
A Story About the Magic in You.
For more information, to order the book, and even some videos and games for children, please visit: www.thewizardswish.com
There are a number of other great tapping resources on Brad’s main site:
. The Magnificent Tappers Club
. The EFT Wizard’s Big Book of Tapping Scripts
. Money Beyond Belief
. Love Beyond Belief
. Confidence Beyond Belief
. Group and private sessions