My primary work with children has been as a reading specialist, working with kids with a learning disability in the area of language, usually dyslexia and its related challenges.
Adam – a Tough Teenager
“Adam” was fourteen when we worked on his reading, speech, spelling and vocabulary. When he was in a good mood, he learned easily and we had fun together. But sometimes he arrived for his lesson in a resistant mood that permeated the room with his bad vibes.
I always start every reading lesson with some energy movement. I do movements from Brain Gym and movements I’ve learned from Donna Eden – Energy Medicine. (These are the same movements I do myself every morning, first thing.)
Well, when Adam arrived in a resistant mood, he would do everything I led him in, but he wouldn’t even look me in the eye. His bad mood was palpable.
It’s actually quite easy for me to weave EFT into my educational work with children, since we already do movement every day – and since the movement is already weird stuff they only do with me.
They are used to me leading them in strange movements. And since I’m so fully confident of the effectiveness of the things I lead them in, they do what I ask willingly – if skeptically.
EFT with Adam
As we did our energy movements, I could see and feel his bad mood. I calmly asked him, “Did you not want to come today?” His answer: a shrug and a quick hum to the tune of “I don’t know.”
“Would you rather be home?” Shrug and “I don’t know” hum.
“It’s a pain coming here, right?” Another shrug and hum.
So I started tapping on the eyebrow point – he followed. I didn’t ask him to repeat my words. I just spoke as we tapped together. He was good at following me.
I said something like this…
Eyebrow: I don’t feel like doing this today.
Side of Eye: I’d rather not be here.
Under Eye: It takes so long to drive here, do this stupid lesson and drive home.
Under Nose: I’m using up my whole summer for this dumb reading lesson.
Chin: It’s really boring.
Collarbone: Why do I have to do this?
Under Arm: I can already read just fine.
Top of Head: This is so stupid.
Here’s a short video for a quick review of the tapping points.
I just imagined what he might have been thinking and said that as we tapped around the points. We did just that one round.
Here’s what happened. He brightened up like a light was shining on him . We moved to the table where we do the reading lesson, but Adam was a different person. He was grinning, happy, joking and light-hearted.
If you’ve followed my Growing Up Method, you’ll see that all I did with Adam was the Dumping round. I’ve found that just that one round is often enough when doing EFT with kids. See more info on the Do’s and Don’t of doing EFT with children.
Mandy – Crabby Kid
I did the same thing with “Mandy” when she arrived for our lesson in a bad mood. As with Adam, I didn’t ask her to speak as we tapped (but she did sometimes anyway), I just verbalized with I thought she was thinking and feeling, adjusted for a kid her age (9).
Since Mandy is younger, and I had the insight that it may help her, I handed her Tappy Bear. While I tapped on me, Mandy tapped on Tappy Bear.
It was interesting seeing how she was so free to express her emotions – mainly anger and resentment – when tapping on the bear. She didn’t feel comfortable expressing her anger directly to me, but tapping on the bear allowed her that freedom.
Here’s what I said. Mandy sometimes echoed me as she tapped.
Eyebrow: I don’t want to be here.
Side of Eye: I hate this.
Under Eye: It’s boring.
Under Nose: I want to be home.
Chin: I want to be playing.
Collarbone: Why do I have to do this?
Under Arm: I don’t need this stupid lesson.
Top of Head: This is stupid and boring.
Just like with Adam, Mandy perked right up. After the EFT, she was upbeat and focused and we had a great lesson.
I think one of the reasons this sort of tapping works so well with kids, is that they feel understood. Even though they didn’t tell me directly what they were thinking and feeling, I got it. They wouldn’t have told me, for fear of hurting my feelings.
And because overall, we have fun and they know they’re learning and improving.
Mike – Teenage Despair
Once I was working with “Mike”, a 15 year old I’d been working with for five years. He was working on writing a paper and was at my computer, typing.
While at the computer, he got a call from his sister that she couldn’t find the poster he’d made for science and left outside the classroom door. The poster was lost and Mike was going to have to redo it to turn it in the next day.
With this realization, he slumped over and lost his ability to continue working on his paper. Adam was already familiar with EFT, and because of my inexperience and clumsy introduction, I’d turned him off to it.
But on this day, we had a little crisis. Mike’s paper was due the next day and he was completely blocked from making any progress since he got the news about his poster being lost.
I told him, “Mike, we have to tap.” I asked him a few questions to learn what was really bothering him about the incident.
As I suspected from his level of emotional upset, this tapped into his core fear/belief that there was something deeply wrong with him and losing his poster confirmed it. (This is a common core belief for all of us – and can be especially strong in children with learning disabilities).
With Mike, I used a compressed version of the Growing Up Method.
Even though I lost my poster by forgetting about it and leaving it outside the classroom, maybe I’m ok anyway.
Even though I’m so mad that I’ll have to do it again, I think I’m an ok kid.
Even though I feel so stupid for leaving it outside the classroom door, I think I’m ok anyway.
Tapping Round One – Dumping
Eyebrow: I lost my poster.
Side of Eye: I forgot about it and left it outside the classroom door.
Under Eye: That was so dumb.
Under Nose: I was so dumb.
Chin: What is wrong with me?
Collarbone: I’m so embarrassed.
Under Arm: Now I’ll have to do it all over again.
Top of Head: I hate myself for doing this.
Round Two – Combined Dreaming and Deciding
Eyebrow: What if I could see this a little differently.
Side of Eye: Maybe that stupid poster is no big deal.
Under Eye: It will be a lot easier to do it again, since I’ve done it before.
Under Nose: Lots of people lose things – even my parents.
Chin: Usually I remember my stuff.
Collarbone: Wouldn’t it be great if I could remember what a good person I am? I have lots of friends, my teachers like me, I’m really smart, I’m fun to be with, my family loves me and I’ve improved hugely in reading, writing, spelling and in every subject in school.
Under Arm: What if losing that dumb poster actually has nothing to do with how good I am as a person?
Top of Head: I have decided that losing this poster is no big deal at all. I’m still a really good person and I feel good about myself.
Mike was so happy at the end of this second round that he glowed. His posture was upright and energetic again. He nearly bounded back to the computer to resume his work on his paper.
p.s. To learn more about how you can own the soft, cuddly and EFT-friendly Tappy Bear, click here.