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Reluctant 4 year old and EFT for Kids

by Joanna

Hi Annie,

I got your EFT for Kids Program and I think it is great. I've only done a bit of EFT and was not very confident doing it with my kids.

But I have been trying to get my four year old to start tapping when she is angry - she chucks some pretty powerful tantrums!!

But there is NO way in the world she is going to calm down and start tapping.

How can I get her to give it a go, I am sure it would help her to calm down and say what she is mad about?

Comments for Reluctant 4 year old and EFT for Kids

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Encouraging EFT With Kids - Part One
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Joanna,
I had a four year old like that! No two year old tantrums, but my goodness, the four year old ones were pretty powerful!

Actually I would not even try to introduce tapping when she is in the midst of a tantrum. That is the time to start tapping on YOU!! Most parents find it hard not to be affected when a child throws a tantrum, we either want to control them, or calm them down, or sort it out.

So first of all, make sure she is safe and can't hurt herself, but then I would start tapping on you, with statements like, "Even though Amy is out of control, I can stay calm and centered" Or tap out how you feel - "When Amy throws a tantrum, I feel like a terrible Mom" "People will think I'm a bad Mom" - whatever is coming up for you just keep tapping through it until you do feel calm and centered! That will give you something to do until she gets through her own drama.

If you are able to stay calm, then you can do some surrogate tapping, making statements about her feelings - not about what you think she should be doing. So something like:
"I'm mad at Mommy"
"Mommy doesn't understand"
"I hate when Mommy spoils my game and bosses me around"
"The big kids are picking on me"
"I'm so mad I can't even talk I just have to yell"

That serves several purposes. It will actually have an effect on her and help to clear the energy, and you are also modelling to her something she could do as an alternative to loosing it. But also you are acknowledging her feelings, and letting you know you understand she is mad. When we try to control our kids or stop them expressing their feelings, we are giving them the message that feelings are bad or should be repressed. We actually want to teach the to express them appropriately, and clear them rather than building up a back log that has to be dealt with as an adult!

Part Two Follows . . . .

Encouraging EFT With Kids - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

It would be better to try to teach her EFT when she is NOT in the midst of a meltdown. So later on, you can talk to her about if she would like a better way to manage her frustrations.

And most importantly show her how YOU deal with times when you are mad. Make a point of tapping in front of her next time you are getting mad, so she learns that is how you deal with big feelings.

We have this huge expectation on our kids to learn to behave in socially appropriate ways, but they don't learn well by be told what to do, they learn so much better by seeing how others manage and process stuff. And EFT is a fantastic tool for that, it gives them something to focus on, but at the same time it is acknowledging and accepting all the feelings that come up.

If she is not so keen on tapping herself or letting you tap on her, then use a teddy or tap on yourself. Little kids are often much more likely to tap on him than on themselves. You can also print out a blown up photo of her and either you or her, can tap on the photo. I've even put stickers on the tapping points.

I've seen little children playing role play games with toys and then when one of the dolls is being mean, the other one starts tapping on teddy. So funny, but amazing how they work it out.

Good luck, and report back and let us know how you are going - or feel free to ask more questions.

Annie Desantis

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