The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of our kids’ lives, from the lack of social interaction with friends at school to fears about the unknown and being stuck inside the house with both parents, in what has now become a very unusual but new-normal situation.
There are many ways to help kids deal with stress during these times and the practice of EFT (Emotional Freeing Technique), or Tapping, as it is more commonly known is becoming incredibly popular and adopted by many parents and schools globally. Publishers world wide are now realizing the need for kids books introducing tapping as a mindfulness technique. First hand, I have seen the benefits, with kids of all ages how tapping can help them deal with stress and anxiety in their lives and its so great for me to finally see parents who are looking at more holistic options rather than turning to psychologists or medications.
What Is Tapping, Exactly?
Tapping is, literally, the practice of tapping particular points on your body with your fingertips while at the same time talking through something with key words that may be making your child feel nervous or anxious. This, according to The Tapping Solution Foundation, helps you to work through your emotions, restoring a sense of calm and balance to your body and mind. One of the major benefits of tapping is that it can be learnt by anyone even kids as young as three. It is a powerful tool when taught and used by kids either with help from parents or themselves as they are more immune to feeling and picking up on anxiety than adults are, especially at the moment.
Acupoint tapping send signals directly to the stress center of the brain making full use of our mind-body connection and by tapping on the meridian endpoints which are direct channels into our energy system we can stimulate areas of blocked energy. Biologically speaking, tapping revolves around the amygdala, the small almond shaped part of your brain that is responsible for negative emotions. During times of stress the amygdala releases cortisol (the stress hormone) which actually serves us well if we are faced in a real survival situation. However, cortisol is detrimental in stress situations such as anxiety, fear of speaking up or going to school. Tapping literally ‘tuns off’ the amygdala disrupting the stress response and allows the brain to rewire itself into a calmer state. This gives us a more balanced emotional response to given situations.
Tapping Is One Of The Best Gifts We Can Give Our Kids
I believe one of the biggest gifts we can give our children is an understanding of how to deal with the inevitable stresses and frustrations of life and how to regulate their emotions no matter what is thrown at them.
Having been brought up in a pretty dysfunctional family myself, I am fully aware of the effect of emotional instability, can have on children. As parents, we don’t always consider the emotional side effects that any of these experiences can have upon our young children and teens in the long term. How we parent, and the life skills we give to our kids, is fundamental in how they deal with stress and emotions when challenges arise throughout their young lives.
Setting good examples and giving them access at an early age to more holistic approaches for self soothing can have life long benefits. Teaching tapping can help kids self manage any negative feelings and can empower them with a tool they can use whenever they feel anxious or stressed. As I experienced through my work with children and young adults over many years, our early childhood experiences can easily linger into adulthood, limiting our beliefs. If these emotions are not dealt with at the time, it is very easy to start living in a state of anxiety, stress and depression. The beautiful thing about this self-help technique is that, once you learn how to use it, you have everything you ever need at the end of your fingertips no matter what stress strikes during your day.
The first workshop I taught was with a group of children aged between 6 and 11 yrs old in a school environment. I remember being surprised at the amount of anxiety and stress they were experiencing either due to academic pressure or parents expectations and also the pressure they put on themselves. All of the kids reported some kind of fear or worry, a phobia or past trauma and all were very open to finding a way they could take control of their fears in a gentle soothing way.
After their first session of guided tapping with me I was pleased to see they all experienced a state of having much calmer and relaxed minds. I was then delighted to see when they returned the following week that each of them had practiced themselves and were feeling so much happier and calmer. It’s a simple and inexpensive technique and, after initial guidance, it’s very easy for parents to use on their kids.
Our children are our future and with increasing levels of anxiety, stress and depression in our younger generations, I believe tapping is not only a powerful gift but a great life skill to give our children. If you are interested in learning more about Tapping please watch my Youtube link and feel free to contact me with any questions or to arrange online sessions with me for your kids [email protected]
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