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Fear Of The Unknown

by Robert
(Zagreb)

I have an 11 year old son who was just about to take a trip to coast to have fun with lots of kids from different countries. The night before he actually found out that his friend, who had been claiming he would accompany my son on that trip, admitted he was lying and that he was not going.


So what happened is that the next morning, on the day of departure, my son woke up and immediately started crying in tears because he felt alone, that his friend abandoned him and that he would never make new friends on that trip. Only when I told him I would pick him up from there if he was feeling uncomfortable, he was relieved a bit. So, my question is how to solve this fear of the unknown, is this a problem of feeling being abandoned? How to tap on this issue, how to solve such feelings?

Comments for Fear Of The Unknown

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EFT Tapping On Kids Fears - Part One
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Robert,
I am not surprised your son felt abandoned by his friend and was fearful. That would have been the perfect time to tap with him as has he was telling you how he felt. Often kids clear stuff just by being able to express it and talk it out, but if the parent sweeps it under the carpet, or doesn't listen, then those are the things that become stuck. If they don't get to any kind of resolution, then if anything the fear gets more embedded.

He has two issues with this, the disappointment and betrayal from his friend, and if he has other issues around being abandoned, then there could be something more to resolve, or at least there is likely to be some stuff they need to sort out together as he will have lost a bit of trust in his friend. Then the second issue is the fear of going to this new situation on his own.

You clearly gave him lots of time to talk and offered a solution of going to pick him up if he was uncomfortable. Sometimes that is enough, kids have resolved the overwhelming feelings and are ready to move on, and it is us parents that make more of an issue out of it! Kids like to know they have a back up plan or support, and then that gives them the courage to try new things. He may even call, and in which case I would reinforce that you will come to pick him up, but would he be willing to try a bit longer with the activities etc, and then call back? Again, they test out if you are really available, and that might be enough to give him the confidence to stay outside his comfort zone for a bit longer.

Of course we do learn the most outside our comfort zone! But not so far out that it is overwhelming. We all need time to check our resources and integrate the new experience. And kids are also actually growing connections in their brain to balance fear - which is survival instinct - with rational thought - which is a higher level brain development. We are not born rational. The neural pathways in the brain have to develop, so having experiences that are scary, AND then integrating the learning from that is a very powerful way to help the brain develop.

Tapping is perfect for that!

Part Two Follows . . .

EFT Tapping On Kids Fears - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

I noticed you purchased the EFT 4 Kids Manual, so just work your way through it, and any of the suggestions below. You can either tap a whole round with each statement, or if he is talking, then have him just tap round the points as he talks about the issue.

If you are noticing he is quite often is fearful of unknown experiences then it would be really helpful to tap on that. He can tap himself, and I would suggest unless he is familiar with it, that you tap along with him so he copies you as he talks.

Ask him what is scary about it - when something is unknown, we often imagine scenarios playing out, that if we talk about it, we realize it is not really very likely. You can kind of almost exaggerate his fear so it makes it more obvious if he needs to bring a bit of reality into it.

So is he worried no-one will like him?
Tap on his feelings around that, then move into things like:
"is it really true that no-one at ALL will like me?"

"Do I REALLY think that there won't even be one person that will like me?"

"Usually there will be at least someone who I can get along with"

"Actually I'm pretty popular at school, even though I am a bit shy."

Help him to remember other times he went somewhere new and made a friend, and tap that in.

If he is worried he might get lost -
Tap on the fear, then bring in reality:
"I guess they really will have people who make sure everyone is looked after"

"I'm sure someone will notice if I am not there"

Bring in his problem solver - try to get him to give you some ideas of what he could do and at the same time have him keep tapping. If he identifies a solution that is a much better learning outcome for him, rather than you jumping in to rescue him. (As we all do!)

"I could stop and ask someone for help"

"I will remember the instructions we were given if we got separated from the group . . ."

"I have my mobile phone on me and I can call someone . . ."

Part Three Follows

EFT Tapping On Kids Fears - Part Three
by: Annie Desantis

Then when you have gone through each of his fears and reality checked or found solutions, then move on to things like:

"Maybe new situations are not as scary as I thought?"

"I really can work out how to handle challenges"

"I am pretty good at figuring out how I am going to handle something"

"I have been in tough situations before and even though I was a bit scared, I handled it really well"

What can also work really well, is tap after a new experience, tap IN his coping skills and enjoyment.

Things like:
"Even though I was really nervous about going to . . . . I managed pretty well"

"Even though I hated going on my own, I ended up meeting lots of new kids that were fun"

"Even though I was worried if people wouldn't like me, I realized everyone probably felt the same as me"

"Even though it was really scary to start with, I found that if I started talking to someone, it felt better"

"Even though I am scared to try new things, I am also really courageous"

"Even if I start being fearful, I now know I will end up having a really good time"

"I'm getting better at being in new situations"

You can ask him three things he did well in a new situation and then tap those in to firmly anchor them.

"I made the first move to talk to someone I didn't know"

"I went over and sat with a group of new kids"

"I asked someone for help with something"

Then reinforce:
"I am doing really well at handling new situations"

I hope this gives you some ideas, feel free to comment back and let us know how you go, or ask more questions.

Hopefully he went on the trip, had a fabulous time and has come away with lots of new experiences that will build some great resources in himself.

Happy Tapping!
Annie D :)

Fear of unknown part 2
by: Robert

Ok, first of all, thank You VERY MUCH the quick reply :-).

Now, I've read the EFT 4 Kids manual and some things are not clear to me. I've read Gary Craig EFT manual and there are some additional tapping points not described here. Then you should tap each point seven times and how you can do that if your sentence is too long (go slower on tapping?)? And the huge difference is that in EFT manual by Gary Craig there are no issues to tap on but only affirmations?? I'm bit confused with that.

Also, surogat tapping is meant for tapping for your own issues about your kid, not really to work with him?

If I am to name issues and affirmations, do I have to use different issues and affirmation for the issue I'm working on, or I can repeat some of them? For example he is also afraid of spiders and I can not invent too many different issues and affirmations related to fear from spider.

At last, if I want to tap with my kid, do I tap instead of him his points or mine: Is he saying issues and affirmations or I?


Best regards, Robert

Re Fear Of Unknown Questions
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Robert,
I'm glad your son went on the trip and seemed to be having a good time, I'll answer your questions here rather than reply to the email you sent, that way other parents also learn from your questions.

You are correct in noticing I do things differently from Gary Craig - I think I mention in my introduction of the EFT 4 Kids manual, I use a shortened version of the tapping sequence. His techniques were developed quite some time ago, and since then many EFT practitioners have discovered it is not necessary to use the entire sequence that he first worked with. But as I said in my course, if you are more familiar with his, then just use what you are used to. Even with shortened versions, there are differences, many people also use the under arm tapping point.

You can't get it wrong with tapping, so don't worry about having to do it perfectly - I suggest tapping approximately 7 times - but it is NOT an exact requirement. It can be better if you keep your statements as short, to the point statements, but you can also just tap through as a child is talking. For example when your son first was upset and talking about his disappointment about his friend not coming, and his fears, you are not going to stop a child and make them come up with short statements. The best thing is to simply start them tapping as it is spilling out of them.

Now with children, you can tap in lots of ways - surrogate tapping is when you are tapping on their issue and they aren't. They may not even know you are tapping. But I think it is better that they are empowered to learn to tap out their fears and anxieties, so having them tap also is a good idea. You can tap on them yourself, but I would usually only do that with very young kids or to show a child where to tap. Or occasionally if they are cuddled up and upset. The idea is to empower THEM with a tool they can use anywhere, regardless of if you are with them. If you tap at the same time on you, then firstly you are showing them how to do it, and secondly, you are helping to clear your own issues around it! And that is almost more important.

You are clearly a very loving and concerned Father, and as parents we hate seeing our kids struggle. But often our worry and concern is actually making any situations worse because we are adding our energy to it. In your situation, your son may have processed his anxieties around the trip by being able to talk to you, and knowing you are totally supportive of him and available to help. However you are still worried - so you have issues/worries/concerns about your son that would be good to tap away!

More . . . .

Re Fear Of Unknown Questions - More Answers
by: Annie Desantis

Now about issues and affirmations - Gary Craig taps out the pain/anxiety first - but his set up statement is just the affirmation I totally love and accept myself. I have found (as have many people using EFT) that statement does not go all that well with kids. Also it is often more powerful to build in choices into the set up statement.

But again, you can't get it wrong with EFT - I mention using just affirmations if you are setting the scene for the day (morning tappies etc) or to tap in confidence before a talk etc, or anchor skills you have just learned.

But if a child (or parent) has feelings that are anxious or unhappy or fearful, then it is better to tap
OUT the uncomfortable stuff first and tap IN the affirmation after the intensity of the anxiety has faded.

In terms of inventing issues - definitely NOT! Only tap out what has a charge to it - if you are starting to search for statements, then that suggests to you that it is finished. That is also why it works really well to get kids to do as much of the talking and tapping as they can, as they will soon say, I'm sick of this, or no more. They move on MUCH quicker than we do. If they are getting bored or loosing interest then that is telling you they have let go. You really don't have to struggle and force it at all. Kids do process stuff way quicker than us. But of course some kids do have long standing issues that concern them, and need more tapping in affirmations etc to keep reinforcing new beliefs or behaviors.

But most certainly, if a child is not scared of spiders you have no need to tap on that kind of issue.

Really just trust your intuition, there is not any hard and fast rules with EFT, you can simply ramble on and tap - you can repeat the same statements lots of times or you may find something totally different pops up.

One thing I know Gary Craig used to recommended working on one issue at a time - or even one part of that issue. That is because he works a lot with people that have fairly severe traumas and with adults focusing on unpacking the layers and clearing step by step each aspect can be a bit more methodical to clear something major. But kids don't have such deep seated beliefs - they have not had years of cementing in a difficulty or trauma, and you really don't need to worry if they start switching to another piece of the puzzle. In fact it is great if they see connections and start to tap on something related. In my work with adults, I also am not so fixed on having to stay with just one statement, as I think it is important that we recognize how our feelings are often a result of a memory and if the connection comes up, them simply keep tapping.

Re Fear Of Unknown Questions - 3
by: Annie Desantis

So just relax with it all Robert, and do the tapping sequence you are most familiar with or comfortable with - and simply tap on the feelings rather than worrying if you have the right statement. You can just tap through as you talk, or you can have specific statements if that feels more effective for you.

Actually - you could even start with tapping out your confusion about the differences in the EFT techniques, and wanting to get it right, or to do things perfectly! You really can use tapping for anything - if you have any feelings that are in any way distressing, then tap out what you don't want and tap in what your would prefer!

Best of luck with it, I hope that clarifies a few things for you!
Annie D :)

Fear Of Unknown Comment
by: Robert

Dear Annie, I really can not express my gratitude to You for putting so much effort explaining all the details. Now I'm more relaxed and I can not wait to start tapping on myself and my son. I will be posting comments here when I get the first results.

All the best Robert

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