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By Steve Wells

Using EFT and SET with your own children can be a most rewarding experience. Here are a couple of things I have learned from using EFT and SET with my own children.

  1. You need to learn EFT / SET well and do it on yourself first. If it isn't working, I would suggest this is the first place you should look, particularly with younger children. They tend to be intimately tied to your own emotional state to determine how they are going to feel. Remember, emotions get transferred between people when we interact, and children are often like tuning forks for our emotional states...

Case in point. One night my son Joshua, age 6 at the time, was frightened to go into his room alone telling me he was scared there might be ghosts in there. After explaining that there were no ghosts, and that his light was still on - traditional linear parental logic - he still refused. I told him I would do "the tapping" on this for him to help him to be less afraid. He replied that the tapping would not work (I've found the Apex phenomena is rife even with young children!). I had tended to ignore such protests in the past as he has had excellent results from EFT even while protesting, "this won't work".

I proceeded to rub on his sore spot and say, "Even though you're scared of ghosts, you're still a good kid." Following several rounds and no reduction in fear I, in my frustration, implemented plan B: Exposure treatment - "Feel the fear and do it anyway kid"!

What followed was a very upset little boy who went to his room under extreme sufferance, which was followed by another performance when going to the bathroom to brush his teeth, and still more crying and upset over going to the toilet. Following this, and with me feeling like a total chump for forcing him to suffer so, I took a moment out to think and do some tapping on myself. Then, having produced a little necessary distance, I went and sat down on the bed with him and started to talk about what was scaring him. As I was now no longer anxious about his anxiety (or as frustrated with it), I found I was available to listen to him more fully - and target the treatment towards his specific fears - and he was surprisingly more receptive to the EFT as well.

He told me about a segment in a TV program with an airship full of ghosts. Not only the images but also what was said on the program had upset him. I asked if he would be able to focus on that while we did the tapping and he agreed. As he did so, I was able to realise that the slight distance I now had was crucial to getting this to work for him. I needed to be free of my own negative emotional states ABOUT his problem, in order to work with him ON his problem. Prior to this my emotions were clouding my responsivity - and even being transferred to him, short-circuiting our work together.

I believe if we *anxiously* tap with someone or on someone we greatly lessen our chances of a positive result - this is why I always tap along with my clients. I don't want my own state to interfere with their healing. Anyway, the conclusion to this story is that we were then able to proceed through several aspects, with me being respectful enough of my son to ask him at each point "What should we call that?" when we identified aspects to tap on, involving him more fully in the process. 5 rounds later and he went off to sleep. Problem solved - at least for now!

My advice to other parents and to therapists: Always always, always tap on yourself. I have experienced numerous situations where this has made all the difference.

  1. Treat yourself for the things your children do that upset you.

When my daughter was born, her particularly loud cry and inbuilt persistence had a significant negative effect on me. I found it mightily stressful to deal with her at these times of auditory assault. One day, while changing her nappy with her screaming and me getting upset, I realised I needed to do some tapping on myself for the effects this was having on me.

A few rounds of tapping on the stress caused by her cries and I suddenly became aware of the wide variety of different cries she actually produced. Previously they were all the same - loud and intensely upsetting for me. Now I realised that some of her cries were due to real pain, some were due to frustration, some were from her simply wanting a little love and affection, etc, etc. Previously, they had all translated to me as intense pain. And that was painful for me to cope with - I wanted to immediately jump in and settle her down. Especially when a particularly tired girl could take up to an hour to settle herself down to sleep.

After tapping on myself over her cry, I was able to realise that not all her cries required an immediate response, or the same type of response, or even any response at all on occasions. And I began to feel good about my little girl again. And the empowerment of being able to "stand in the heat" was highly significant for a father who never would have been able to cope with this without the tapping!
The above article has been adapted from Enjoy Emotional Freedom by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake.

You may also like to review our special childrens book - Rose and the Night Monsters. This beautiful picture book offers a gentle way of introducing Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to young children. Exquisite photographic illustrations help children identify with the main character, Rose, as she learns EFT to help her overcome her night-time fears. It includes special guidelines for parents, teachers and counselors for using EFT to assist young children to overcome common emotional upsets.

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