EFT for kids - Why it Works.
Does EFT work with kids? Yes! Emotional Freedom Technique – or ‘tapping’ - helps kids shift anxieties, fears and worries by ‘tapping’ on a series of acupressure points on their upper body.
Tapping, while voicing their problems out loud, helps to ‘short-circuit’ their flight or fight stress response, rewiring the brain to help them think more clearly and calmly. EFT helps kids work through emotions, restoring balance in body and mind.
Research tells us EFT calms the nervous system and helps manage mood. It’s an effective way to help a child calm down when they’re upset and to help them release stuck emotions or trauma. It will also help them relax and fall asleep more easily at night. A report by JACM – The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine states EFT can be used as “a group intervention in reducing presenting anxiety” among adolescents.
“EFT can easily be transferred to other aspects of student life, for example exam stress and so could be used to reduce anxiety around exams and potentially enhance exam performance.”
The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) also determined EFT “effective in reducing depression in a variety of populations and settings”.
So, WHY does EFT work especially well with kids?
- Their minds are open and curious.
- Kids don’t have the same emotional baggage as adults. They aren’t thinking ‘how’ or ‘why’ this works.
- Kids are very present - they live in the moment. ‘To feel better now’ is their only wish.
- Kids think tapping is fun, effectively opening them up to the experience even more.
How EFT can be used for kids
Tapping can be used with kids to help with all sorts of concerns. Here are some of the common ones…
- Fears and worry
- Coping with bullying
- Building resilience
Tapping tips for parents
- Don’t try to ‘force’ or coerce your child into tapping. Introduce it in a light-hearted manner. I refer to my tapping with younger kids (aged 4 – 10) as tapping on their “magic buttons”.
- Encourage little kids to tap on themselves as it gives them confidence. It also helps them self-regulate their emotions.
- Go slowly. Use one of your child’s fears or worries at a time. You don’t want to create overwhelm or a feeling of ‘not doing it right’ if there are too many things to concentrate on. Keep it simple. Pick one worry such as going to bed on their own. Focus an entire round of tapping on that one worry.
- Make tapping fun, refer to tapping points as “magic buttons” especially with little ones.
- Don’t give up. Even occasional tapping helps kids re-program their subconscious and build their emotional resilience.
What you can expect to see in your child after trying EFT
- Initial tiredness. They may feel especially sleepy the first night after EFT!
- A brightening in mood.
- A shifting mindset, an ability to reframe their emotions in a positive way.
- A sense of personal empowerment and self-esteem. They are taking control of their fears and worries, externalising them by saying them out loud.
- A sense of calm and resolve.
A final word – make it enjoyable! Make EFT a special, bonding time together, especially at bedtime.