Written by Stephanie Hope Dodd
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a crazy silly tapping technique which guides deeper and emotionally healing communication between parents and their children. EFT is an energy-based practice used by parents, therapists, healers, and coaches to bridge communication gaps, increase trust among children, and help neutralize negative emotions. Parents who practice EFT are finding new ways to engage and be in tune with their children. This is exciting news as when as a child ourselves we did not learn healthy and open communication, it is often hard to change our core beliefs with will and determination alone. So in walks this voodoo-esque, energy therapy technique, unbeknown to mainstream society and rocks the world for clearer, more open communication between parents and children.
What is this acronym you ask? EFT is a cross between self-acupuncture and self-talk therapy. It is the up and coming experimental, holistic treatment! EFT is used to neutralize negative emotions and thoughts. With its roots in chiropractic care, Chinese medicine, and energy psychology, EFT is one treatment that is easy to learn by the lay person and is effective with anyone who wants to clear and rebuild their set of emotional beliefs. Seemingly most popular today in the UK, EFT is finding its way into the homes across the globe. Like anything, EFT becomes easier and more effective with practice, but is also very forgiving and can work the first time it is used. As a parent, using EFT with your children can help your mind be more tuned into what your child is saying as the distractions seem to fade, gives you a technique to probe deeper with a set course of action to dissipate negativity, expands your child’s thought process, provides a sense of calmness, and is a facilitator to changing belief sets and traumas. All this while promoting full expression of self from your child to you!
It is in each moment of life that our children are building their own book of definitions and rules; Definitions and rules which will escort them through life. It is important as parents we begin to look for an understanding of how our children are interpreting the worlds around them because these belief systems formed in the younger years, often before the age of 6, and are the blueprint pattern to thought process and emotional beliefs throughout life. Mini or major traumas of children, when hidden away present as phobias, tantrums, and tears – behaviors which parents find difficult. In our turning culture to gentle parenting, we can choose not to buy into old beliefs which dismiss the slightest of emotions, instead choosing to recognize and discuss these emotions with our children.
THE PROCESS TO USING EFT
To begin using EFT, we will start by learning the 9 most common acupuncture pressure points used in the basic recipe. They are pictured below:
￼ ￼ Before you begin, choose your emotion or event you and your children are working on. The more specific, the better. Go ahead and rate this emotion on a scale of 1-10 so there is a gauge of change. Next, begin by taking your index and ring finger of your dominant hand and gently start tapping on the fleshy part of your opposite hand between the wrist and beginning of your pinky. When possible, you will tap on your body and your child will tap on the same points on their own body. It is here that you will address the issue, trauma, emotion you wish to neutralize. It is best addressed by saying, “Even though I feel_____ or this thing happened, I truly and deeply love and accept myself.” Repeat this step three times. Then you take your key phrase – be it the emotion or the event – and repeat that phrase as you tap on the all the points in the picture, starting with the top of the head, followed by in between your eyebrows, to the outside of your eyes, under your eye, under your nose, between your bottom lip and chin, to just below your collarbone, and ending with just under your armpit. Now it is time to take a deep breath and check-in with yourself or your child and see if the number on the rating scale has changed. You will find by addressing the negative issue head on while tapping one these energy points, the disruptions to our energy field can be cleared and released from our system. Our goal is to bring each emotion as close to 0 as we can.
Does this really work? EFT has been coined “one-minute wonders” because of the immediate speed in which it decreases unwanted emotions, even more so with children. Children have young energy field with less traumas and core beliefs. Working with your child and EFT will help set a positive foundation of beliefs. Think about a belief you have carried with you in this lifetime. When do you first remember feeling like that? Most often our beliefs are related to our childhood. EFT is a tool you can use daily to neutralize events and emotions.
HOW TO INCORPORATE EFT INTO YOUR LIFE:
Like anything in life, with practice come knowledge and ease. I encourage daily tapping with your children as part of a bedtime routine. You can tap for everything good and bad about their day. You can also tap together as a family! Here are some set up phrases to help you get started. There is no one right or wrong way to EFT.
“Even though I was yelled at today… I completely love and accept myself”
“Even though I cannot sleep….”
“Even though I’m scared of the dark…”
“Even though I don’t like you going to work...”
“Even though I overhead….”
“Even though I today I saw…”
“Even though so and so said this to me/about me…”
After each round of tapping, check in to see how your child is feeling now on the scale of 1-10. As probing questions, such as how did it make you feel? Where do you feel that emotion in your body? What else makes you feel that way? Is there something else you are thinking about? You can then tap for all of these answers to help reduce the initial emotion. Allow the child to guide the answers and flow of the tapping. Offer them the chance to change the phrases and use their own words as often as you can. If your child becomes visibly upset and does not want to continue talking, you may take your fingers and with permission, gently tap on them without either saying a word. It is possible for EFT to work without any words, simply with intention. Your goal is to bridge any gaps in communication between parent and child, so it is best and most useful to make sure your child is finished with their tapping before you leave them. Some children find it most fun to instead tap on a teddy bear or favorite toy or doll instead of themselves. This is okay! EFT allows room for creativity, intuition, and making it your own way of communicating!
With practice and patience, you will find tapping becomes a quick and effective way of communicating with your children. It will give you space to hold an open forum discussion where anything said is accepted because you too, as a parent, now have a tool to dissipate the emotions, even your own guilt or fear, that may come with hearing something has these thoughts. It is a space for trust and open, honest communication. While you’re tapping, while you see changes happening with your children, consider this: It is said a child’s emotions are a reflection of your own self and childhood. Children are our teachers and may help you find pieces of yourself you’d like to change. Doing your own tapping for your own emotions and beliefs can lead you to being a happier role model for yourself and your children.
EFT is becoming mainstream thanks in part to Gary Craig. See his website here, www.garythink.com
If you have any questions about EFT, the role it may play in your household, or stories to share, feel free to comment below or email the author at Stephanie@hopethroughlove.com. Stephanie is also available for private EFT sessions and may be done on the phone.
About the author:
Stephanie Hope Dodd holds a master’s degree in psychology, is an EFT practitioner, certified yoga instructor, and Reiki Master. Stephanie specializes working with parents and children; being a guide for emotional and physical releases.You can see more information at www.hopethroughlove.com, or on facebook(http://www.facebook.com/#!/HopeThroughLove), (http://www.facebook.com/#!/lilcheeze)