Tapping or psychological acupressure can be a good way to help children and adults relieve emotional distress. The body-mind connection helps relieve stress, worry, anxiety, etc. Tapping helps calm kids and bring their emotions back into balance. You will find that tapping is much more intuitive for children than adults.
Signs that your child may be anxious:
- Changes in behavior such as moodiness, aggression, temper tantrums, clinginess or frequent crying.
- If your child is constantly worrying or having negative thoughts. (can look like asking many questions for reassurance)
- Decreased or increased appetite
- Hoarding items of seeming insignificance
- Waking in the night or having nightmares
- Struggling with or refusing to go to school
- Withdrawing from family or friends
Feeling anxious can be perfectly normal and is very common in young children. Between ages 1-2 separation anxiety is very common. Fear of the dark or the unknown. Fear at bedtime. This technique is meant to help regulate those feelings and restore balance. This is only one tool out of many tools you can use to help and may not work for every child.
NOTE: If you feel your child is anxious often and are concerned make sure to speak to your pediatrician for guidance and/or reassurance.
How to tap for emotional regulation:
1- Find a space where your child feels safe.
2- Let your child know that tapping is a special way to help their mind and body feel happy and relaxed. Ask them if they would like to do it. (Make sure not to force them, they will try when they are ready)
3- Show them the tapping points. (used image below for reference) practice with them. For young children you can have them try it on a stuffed animal.
4- You can then ask them how they are feeling. Start with how their body is feeling. Then if your child is able to identify feelings you can go into how they are feeling emotionally.
5- When the child has identified fear or emotion. Name the fear while tapping and then state the acceptance of that fear and/or how to cope
- Even though I am unsure about school, I know I am a great kid.
- Even though I feel alone at drop-off, I choose to be confident and I know I can ask for help.
- Even though I am anxious, I choose to relax and feel safe.
Resources for parents with anxious children:
More Social Emotional Tool for young children (check it out)