“It’s Hard to Sit Still…”

This post contains excerpts from The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers.

 

“It’s hard to sit still…”

A school counselor recently shared a story that shows the power of Tapping with kids, including those who have survived tremendous hardship at very young ages and have difficulty in school.

It was the start of a new year, and Matt, a 2nd grader, had just begun attending a new school. Diagnosed with ADHD, he was having a hard time with the mid-year adjustment. In addition to acting out at school, he’d been unable to sit still in class and was falling behind with his schoolwork.

Unsure how to handle his disruptive behavior, Matt’s new teacher reached out to the school counselor, who learned that Matt was living with his older sister and brother-in-law. They had recently become his new guardians. Prior to that, Matt had lived with his paternal grandmother. Both of Matt’s biological parents suffered from substance abuse and had never been in his life.

After meeting with his guardians, who were previously unaware of Tapping, the school counselor received permission to try Tapping with Matt. His new guardians also shared that although he’d previously been on prescription medications to manage his ADHD, they were eager to try alternative methods. Matt’s recent annual physical exam had indicated that he was in good health.

Given her heavy caseload, the school counselor explained that she would only be able to work with Matt on his school-related issues. His family history and traumas would need to be managed through a private practitioner.

 

Child-friendly diagram for younger children

 

Understanding the “Why”

When he first met with the school counselor, Matt was very willing to try Tapping, and talked openly about his dislike of school. When asked about his feelings, he explained, “It’s hard to sit still and I don’t like getting into trouble at school.” At the start of their Tapping, his dislike of school and of getting in trouble was an 8 out of 10.

The counselor began by leading him through two rounds of Tapping on his dislike of school, which quickly dropped to a 5 out of 10. Since his dislike for getting into trouble hadn’t yet dissipated, she then led him through several more rounds, using phrases such as:

“I don’t like school”

“I hate getting into trouble at school”

“It’s hard to sit still and finish my work”

“I’m a good kid”

When they were finished Tapping, the intensity of his feelings about school had gone down to a 1 out of 10.

At the end of the session Matt was smiling. “I like these exercises!” he said. He then asked if he could tap in his classroom. The school counselor encouraged him to tap on his finger and face points while he was at his desk to help him focus and sit quietly.

 

Creating a Self-Care Habit

The counselor gave him a homework assignment—to share what he learned with his teacher and guardians, and to tap at home before bedtime and on his ride to school each morning. His teacher was also encouraged to allow him access to a “quiet Tapping spot” that was set up in the back of the classroom.

After a week of individual sessions, Matt was Tapping regularly in his classroom. He is now having more successful days than difficult days in school. He is no longer getting sent to the office and is on grade level academically in all subjects.

 

 

Is your child struggling with new changes? (& Tapping Script)

When your child is struggling with major changes, whether because of a new school, changes in home life or other, focus your Tapping on whatever they’re struggling with in the moment. Rather than trying to solve the “bigger picture” of what’s going on in their lives, focus on the present moment. By addressing these “present moment” issues, you can lower their stress and, over time, allow them to adjust more smoothly.

The first step is to zero in on what they’re experiencing now. For example, if they’re having a meltdown, you might do some Tapping with them on the anger or frustration they’re feeling. If they can’t settle down enough to focus on learning, tap on their inability to sit quietly to learn.

When you’re clear on their present-moment issue, ask them to rate its intensity on a scale of 0 to 10, or using the “this much” method of measurement.

 

Tapping diagram for older children

 

 

In this Tapping script, I’ll focus on having trouble sitting still, but as always, tailor your words to your child’s present-moment experience.

To begin, take a deep breath, and begin by Tapping 3 times on the Karate Chop point.

Karate Chop (Repeat 3 times): Even though I can’t sit still and I have to keep moving, I’m a great kid and I’m okay.

Eyebrow: I can’t sit still

Side of Eye: I have to keep moving

Under Eye: I hate getting in trouble for it!

Under Nose: I can’t sit still

Under Mouth: It’s not my fault

Collarbone: I can’t sit still

Under Arm: That’s okay

Top of Head: I’m a great kid!

 

Eyebrow: So hard to sit still

Side of Eye: I don’t like getting in trouble for it

Under Eye: I can’t sit still

Under Nose: It’s okay

Under Mouth: I’m an awesome kid!

Collarbone: I can feel calm now

Under Arm: Everything’s okay

Top of Head: I’m a great kid

 

Eyebrow: I’m okay!

Side of Eye: I can feel quiet and calm inside now

Under Eye: I can slow my brain down

Under Nose: I can feel quiet in my body now

Under Mouth: I can feel silence in my body

Collarbone: I can slow my brain down now

Under Arm: Feeling calm inside

Top of Head: Feeling calm and quiet in my body and brain now

 

When s/he is ready, ask your child to rate how s/he is feeling now. Keep Tapping until they get the desired relief.

 

Learn More

This is one example of how you can support your child and the journey he/she will embark on.

You can learn more about how families can use Tapping to manage their everyday stressors in my new book, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers. Whether your child, or student, is dealing with common social issues, school-related anxiety, or a specific diagnosis, this book will support you in understanding your role and providing specific tools to encourage success and lifelong achievement.

The best part is that with every purchase of this book, 100% of the proceeds, in perpetuity, will be donated to The Tapping Solution Foundation to continue bringing EFT Tapping to schools and families, and providing trauma relief around the world.

So if your child is struggling with common worries or school-related anxieties, or is coping with a specific diagnosis, and you’d like to support him/her with a life-changing tool, I urge you to pick up a copy of my book, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

 

The Tapping Solution App – Teacher Self-Care Tapping Meditations

In honor of all the hardworking teachers out there, we have some special meditations especially for you!

These meditations are from the “Teacher Self-Care” category of our Tapping Solution App that’s now available to download.

This category will always remain free to listen to, but I wanted to share these with you so that you can get a taste of what’s available in the app, along with over 100 other Tapping Meditations from a wide variety of categories.

Teacher Self-Care: Setting the Intention for Your Day

Click to listen

Teacher Self-Care: Releasing Overwhelm

Click to listen

After listening, let me know in the comments below what you think of these meditations.

Did you feel any shifts take place? How does your body feel after the tapping? Are you ready to take on another day?

I hope you enjoyed it, and please help me spread the word about The Tapping Solution App!

Until next time,

Keep Tapping (On the app!)

Nick Ortner


How do you feel after using these Tapping Meditations? Comment below!

Tapping Included in Pink Aid’s Fundraiser for Cancer Fighters

“Can Tapping be used for cancer?”

That’s a question I hear often. The answer is a resounding YES!

While Tapping itself does not cure cancer, Tapping is beneficial for processing the stress and trauma associated with receiving a diagnosis of cancer and being in a hospital setting.

Tapping – this emotional work of letting go, forgiving, stopping self-criticism, clearing old traumas – HELPS the body heal. The body knows how to heal itself and when we get out of the way, it often does just that. One of the most challenging parts of any physical “disease” is the emotional component, the stress, the self-criticism, and how they affect the body.

Tapping has been proven to be instrumental in helping the body heal from those negative emotional tendencies such as anxiety, stress, and self-criticism, which is commonly felt in anyone connected to a cancer diagnosis.

Part of the mission of The Tapping Solution Foundation is to provide resources to those that need it all over the world, including individuals battling a cancer diagnosis or have become cancer thrivers. That’s why we donated 500 copies of The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief  to support Pink Aid‘s main annual fundraiser.

 


Pink Aid’s fundraiser included a donation of 500 copies of the book, The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief. 

 

“Pink Aid’s mission is to help underserved local women survive breast cancer treatment with support and dignity, to provide screening to women in financial need, and to empower breast cancer survivors to heal by helping and inspiring others. Our grants support programs that provide services including free breast cancer screening and help covering non-medical expenses such as food cards, household bills, wigs, recovery garments and transportation for patients undergoing treatment.”Pink Aid

 

To learn more about how Tapping can assist in a cancer diagnosis, and to watch the Tapping journey of a woman diagnosed with cancer, visit here.

 

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Fight-or-Flight Response in Kids: Relieving Instead of Reliving

The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

This post contains excerpts from The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers

 

Picture Jenny, a 5th grader who is standing at the front of the class about to read her writing assignment aloud. As she looks down at the page, then up at the faces of her classmates, time slows. Her heartbeat grows louder and faster.

She’s nervous, very nervous, and more than anything, she wants to escape.

Jenny looks over at her teacher, who nods at her to begin reading. Jenny does as instructed, but before finishing the first sentence, she stumbles and mispronounces a word. The entire class erupts in what sounds to Jenny like the whole world laughing at her.

Jenny is shocked and bewildered, unsure what to do and unable to move. She wishes that she could run straight home, but instead finishes as quickly as she can, reading very quietly for fear of getting laughed at again.

Sound familiar?

Many of us have had “Jenny” moments, big and small events from our childhood where we felt humiliated, afraid and alone. Once we become parents, a story like this may strike us very differently. We wonder and worry, What damage will an event like this do—to Jenny’s self-esteem, her feelings about school, her friends, her teacher? And what should I, as her parent or teacher, do—or not do—to help her handle experiences like this?

We feel conflicted, wanting both to protect Jenny and to give her the tools she needs to develop on her own. At times we may also take on her emotions and feel overwhelmed by them.

One important place to start is by addressing one of the main issues that’s stopping our children from thriving, and that’s stress. It can seem like an unusual starting point, given that our conversations around stress typically focus on adults. Yet the results of recent research around stress and kids are, to put it mildly, shocking.

 

According to the American Psychological Association, almost one-third of kids suffer from stress that manifests physically in the form of headaches, stomachaches, and more.

A Stanford University study found that the number of kids ages 7–17 who are suffering from depression more than doubled between 1985 and 2001.

 

These trends around kids and stress don’t just seem to be continuing. They seem to be worsening.

Let’s look back at Jenny’s physical reaction:

Standing in front of her class, Jenny’s heart began to race. Her face felt hot, and her hands clammy. The stress Jenny was feeling wasn’t just in her head; it was also in her body. Before she’d even said a word, an almond-shaped part of her midbrain called the amygdala received a danger signal. Immediately her body was flooded with a mixture of powerful hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, the latter often known as the stress hormone, which put her whole body on high alert.

As a result of the cortisol now flooding her body, several “non-essential” functions, including digestion and the creative center of her brain, promptly shut down. While some of her physical senses may have temporarily heightened, her ability to problem-solve and focus on schoolwork had been temporarily sidelined.

This process, which is known as the stress response or “fight or flight,” happened in a matter of seconds without her conscious awareness. While this stress response would naturally subside if Jenny had a positive experience, in Jenny’s case it intensified. Instead of relaxing into the experience of reading aloud to her class, Jenny panicked when her class laughed at her misread word.

As a result of their laugher, Jenny’s stress response grew more pronounced, instantaneously morphing into the “freeze response.” In Jenny’s case, that translated into feeling like she couldn’t move or respond in any way to the class’s laughter.

This “freeze response” is a defensive mechanism, an emotional and physical response to panic or extreme stress that we also see in nature. For instance, opossums are known for “freezing” when they’re under potential attack from predators. By “playing opossum,” as it’s often called, they appear to be dead already, and as a result, predators may become disinterested and leave. The opossum can then spring back into action and flee to safety.

Since Jenny is unable to escape to safety, her hands begin to tremble, and her stomach feels queasy. In an attempt to protect her from future experiences like this one, her brain also begins transforming, creating neural pathways that associate public speaking with danger.

Throughout the rest of the day, Jenny replays that moment in her head over and over again. Each time she does, her shame intensifies. How could I be so stupid? she thinks. By the time the school day ends, Jenny has relived that moment hundreds of times. At dinner, her stomach is so upset that she barely eats, and asks her parents if she can go to bed early.

So what happened that turned this one experience into the cause of so much distress?

Every time Jenny replayed the moment, or relived, when she was laughed at, her body re-initiated the stress response. Each time this pattern was repeated–1) remembering reading to the class and getting laughed at, then 2) initiating the stress response—her brain reinforced the neural pathways that associate public speaking with danger. These changes are made possible by the brain’s ability to “reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life,” a characteristic known as neuroplasticity.

As a result of these newly organized neural pathways, reliving her public speaking fiasco has become as vivid and intense as her actual public speaking experience was. With this neural pathway being continually strengthened by repeated memory recall, just thinking about public speaking is enough to cause her body to be hijacked by the stress response. In addition to shutting down her digestion (which, in her case, translates into a lack of appetite), this stress response also makes her more susceptible to physical pain—hence, the stomachache that sends her to bed earlier than usual.

 

And for people to begin to thrive in life, they usually need positive moments to outweigh negative ones by at least a three-to-one ratio.

 

So how can we reverse this process, and prevent the stress Jenny experiences in 5th grade from interfering with her success in 7th grade and beyond?

Tapping into the Relaxation Response 

The secret to unraveling Jenny’s pattern of stress around public speaking lies in the body’s opposite response—the relaxation response.

In this more positive state of mind, cortisol levels in the body naturally go down. As a result, Jenny can more easily access the creative center of her brain. Her body can once again support healthy digestion and metabolism, among other processes. She’s also less susceptible to illness and physical pain from headaches, stomachaches, injuries and more.

The question is, in a case like Jenny’s, how can we quickly disrupt the stress response and initiate the relaxation response? There’s a growing body of research suggesting that Tapping, or EFT, is a simple but powerful way to do exactly that. In a double-blind study conducted by Dawson Church, PhD, the control group, which received conventional talk therapy, showed only a 14 percent drop in cortisol levels, whereas the Tapping group showed an average decrease of 24 percent, a substantial and important difference. Some study participants experienced a decrease of as much as 50 percent in their cortisol levels. Within both groups, these changes all took place within a one-hour period.

Research has also shown that acupuncture increases endorphin levels in the body. Since Tapping engages the same acupuncture points while also lowering cortisol, it is inferred that Tapping, like acupuncture, allows the body to release the endorphins that then reinforce positive feelings, as well as physical and emotional well-being.

The incredible results that Tapping has demonstrated in relieving stress may be explained, at least in part, by its ability to access what are called meridian channels.

Although awareness of these channels dates back to thousands of years in ancient Chinese medicine, it wasn’t until the 1960s that these threadlike, microscopic anatomical structures were first seen on stereomicroscope and electron microscope images. The scans showed tubular structures, 30 to 100 micrometers wide, running up and down the body. Described in a published paper by a North Korean researcher named Kim Bonghan, they are also referred to as “Bonghan channels.”  As a reference point, one red blood cell is 6 to 8 micrometers wide, so these structures are tiny!

You can think of meridian channels as a fiber-optic network in the body. They carry a large amount of information, mostly electrical and often beyond what the nervous system or chemical systems of the body can carry. By accessing these channels while processing emotions, thoughts and physical conditions like pain, Tapping gets to the root cause of stress more quickly than other stress relief techniques can.

Given that Tapping sends calming, relaxing signals directly to the amygdala, it may also help us to override the brain’s negativity bias more rapidly. By using Tapping to neutralize what it thought were threats to its survival—which in Jenny’s case was public speaking—we may be able to reprogram the brain to support more positive experiences.

Can Tapping work for your child? Yes!

You can learn more about Jenny’s journey along with many other children, teenagers, and families who used Tapping to manage their everyday stressors in my new book, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers. Whether your child, or student, is dealing with common social issues, school-related anxiety, or a specific diagnosis, this book will support you in understanding your role and providing specific tools to encourage success and lifelong achievement.

 

The best part is that with every purchase of this book, 100% of the proceeds, in perpetuity, will be donated to The Tapping Solution Foundation to continue bringing EFT Tapping to schools and families, and providing trauma relief around the world.

So if your child is struggling with common worries or school-related anxieties, or is coping with a specific diagnosis, and you’d like to support him/her with a life-changing tool, I urge you to pick up a copy of my book, The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children and Teenagers.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

 

Preparing Educators for a Happy, Healthy, and Courageous School Year


Scarlett Lewis introduces Dr. Maria Ortner to the conference attendees

After losing her son, Jesse, to the Sandy Hook School tragedy, Scarlett Lewis knew she had an important job to do to honor her son. Over the years, she created the Jesse Lewis Choose Love (JLCL) Movement. Scarlett created this Movement, alongside many educators, to establish a free and comprehensive social and emotional learning (SEL) program in all schools. The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ was born. It is a no-cost, downloadablepre-K through 12th grade, evidence-based social and emotional classroom program teaching children how to choose love in any circumstance. The program focuses on four important character values – Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion in Action – which cultivates optimism, resilience and personal responsibility. Included elements are positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, character values and more.

On August 23, 2018, the JLCL Movement hosted a professional development conference for school personnel at the University of Rhode Island in partnership with The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies. The conference was entitled “Nourishing Insights, Preparing Educators for a Happy, Healthy and Courageous School Year.” 

As an avid fan of Tapping, Scarlett and the JLCL Movement reached out and asked The Tapping Solution Foundation to be a part of their day, teaching educators about how to use Tapping in schools to give students a tool to self-manage their emotions and become resilient learners.

Dr. Maria Ortner, from The Tapping Solution Foundation, demonstrated the value of using Tapping in schools. Participants learned how to use EFT Tapping, and ways to incorporate it into their school day. Dr. Ortner shared stories of success including how Tapping has positively impacted students’ self-awareness, resiliency, problem-solving skills, and social and emotional learning. Through the use of Tap-Along Videos and Tapping lessons that accompany the JLCL program, educators had take-away action steps for using Tapping once returning to their classrooms.

To-date, the Choose Love Enrichment Program has been downloaded in all 50 states and Washington DC and over 55 different countries more than 16,000 times by more than 7,600 educators, which is collectively reaching about 1,400,000 students.

Together with The Tapping Solution Foundation, students and schools around the world are learning the skills to manage and cope with their feelings, giving them the opportunity for life-long success academically, emotionally and socially. To find out more information about how to use EFT Tapping in your school, visit our collection of free resources.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Self-Care Habits for Mentally Strong Children

Mental health is a common consideration when it comes to children’s overall well-being, as previous research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that one out of seven U.S. children had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. Both mental health and emotional development are fundamental aspects of children’s development, however, psychotherapist Amy Morin notes, “Emotional intelligence is part of mental strength. But mental strength goes beyond emotions and addresses the thoughts and behaviors that affect the overall quality of your life. Mental strength involves developing daily habits that build mental muscle.”

Developing habits that help children cope with the different ramifications that accompany mental health issues is a critical aspect of childhood that also extends into adulthood. As children grow and begin to develop a sense of self, they begin to identify emotions, understand why they happen, and how to manage them appropriately. As children develop, the things that provoke their emotional responses change, as do the strategies they use to manage them. We can guide our children with the following ideas that will foster fruitful self-care tendencies.

Creative Expressions
It’s not always easy to verbalize negative feelings or emotions that are festering within us, especially for children. Journaling can be a great form of release because of its simplicity and versatility. For younger children, provide them with a notebook or coloring book that allows them to switch their focus from negative thoughts to the present moment. Certified art therapist Marygrace Berberian notes, “Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.”

For older children, encourage them to use a journal to write down their feelings and any questions that may accompany them. Incorporate mental health materials such as discussion guides that provide a list of questions to spark meaningful and informative conversations, which can be especially helpful if your child has an upcoming appointment with a doctor or therapist regarding a mental health diagnosis.

Sensory
Using tools easily available to children gives them the opportunity for continuous success as they create habits of caring for their mental health. Tapping, or EFT, can be used anywhere at anytime, and learned by children as young as 3 years old. Using their hands and voices to Tap on meridian points, children acknowledge their feelings, calm their stress response, and learn to self-manage any issues that arise during the day. By doing so, children become resilient problem-solvers who feel in control of their mind and body, developing their mental strength. This technique provides children and teenagers with the tools to understand and manage emotions, develop social awareness and relationship skills, reduce academic stress, and become resilient learners.

Help your child practice mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. There are many ways to teach your child mindfulness through breathing. Using “mindful breathing” teaches children how to use their breath consciously to change the emotional and biological state of their body. It is important to have a space and set time of day for this practice, allowing it to become an easy-to-use habit of self-care. There is also power in modeling mindful breathing yourself and encouraging little ones with positive affirmations. The interactive children’s book, My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor, is also a great tool to teach children how to practice mindfulness and use their breathing to manage any negative feelings, bringing their attention to the present moment.

Exercise
The physical benefits of exercise are well-known, however, the benefits exercise has on mental health are less obvious. Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins– naturally occurring chemicals in the body that reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. Exercising regularly can improve overall mental health by reducing stress, decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression, and boosting one’s self-esteem. Children can include exercise into their daily routines effortlessly through activities they already enjoy such as biking, swimming, or dancing. As a parent, you can encourage physical activity and show support by engaging in physical activities with your child through simple things like going for a walk around the neighborhood together. Exercise is an easy yet fun way to get outside, become energized and even interact with others.

By instilling self-care habits early in our children’s lives, such as Tapping or mindful breathing,we are providing our children the opportunity to overcome any emotional and mental challenges they may face in a healthy and productive manner.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

10 Tips for Teaching Your Kids Mindful Breathing

Just like adults, children will experience the same emotions of stress, anxiety, worry, sadness, anger, fear, etc. as they go about learning and growing.

However, the main difference is that the young developing mind doesn’t always know how to process, release, or properly categorize these emotions. So we need to help them learn, using the right tools and methods.

A lot of these methods are actually pretty easy to teach to our young kids. One of these is Tapping, which I love to use with children because it’s a physical activity that keeps them engaged, while encouraging them to really tune in to their feelings at the same time.

Another technique that is really simple and powerful is learning how to breathe mindfully. Now, we all know how to breathe, and our bodies do it naturally without us having to think about it.

But “mindful” breathing is a little bit different because it pairs our breathing with our conscious thoughts and imagination. Just through the proper use of our breath, we can change both the emotional and biological states of our bodies. It’s super-easy to learn, but simply just isn’t taught very much in Western culture.

Teaching kids how to breathe mindfully to let go of stress and their bad feelings is the inspiration behind my newest children’s book called “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing”. So be sure to pick up a copy!

But in addition, I wanted to add some other helpful tips to go along with the book itself that will help your child learn the technique of mindful breathing. Here’s a short list to get you started!

1. Set aside some time every day

Children are very accustomed to doing things every day on a routine schedule, starting from their days as an infant. Feeding time, nap time, play time, school time, reading time, quiet time, etc.

So by designating a specific time every day to practice “breathing time”, your kids will get into a habit of practicing it.

2. Have a special “breathing space”

Similar to above, children associate their environment with specific activities. The crib is for sleeping, the changing table is for changing diapers, the high chair is for eating, the potty is for using the bathroom, the rocking chair is for feeding, and so on.

For making a space for your kids to practice breathing, it should be quiet, comfortable, and relaxing. A big fluffy pillow, a furry soft blanket, a colorful corner of their room, or a cozy sitting chair works great.

3. Make it fun

We all know how quickly developing new habits fizzle out when they seem like hard work. And for children especially, you want to make sure that learning how to breathe mindfully is fun! The goal is to make it relaxing and enjoyable, not just another chore. 🙂

4. Practice it yourself

Children learn by mimicking those around them, so why not set a good example? As a parent, teacher, or anyone who works closely with kids, using mindful breathing techniques yourself to release stress and other built up emotions won’t just provide a good example to follow,  it will also do wonders for your own relaxation too. 🙂

5. Ask your kids better questions

A part of mindful breathing is actually focusing on those negative emotions you want to release, while bringing in those positive emotions you’d like to feel. So for children, a big part of that is asking them the right questions.

For example, instead of asking, “How was your day today?” try asking more questions like, “What was the most exciting part of your day? Is there one thing that made you feel sad or angry today? When that bad thing happened, how did it make you feel? If you could change one thing today that would make you feel better, what would it be?”

Questions like these will not only encourage them to identify the parts of their day to practice mindful breathing with, it will also help to develop your child’s emotional intelligence, communication skills, self-esteem, and adaptability.

6. Include some props

To add to the fun of teaching children how to breathe mindfully, include things like pinwheels, bubbles, wind chimes, or a stuffed animal “breathing buddy” they can practice with. Adding in sensory stimuli (sounds, colors, movement, touch, etc.) helps to associate the practice of mindful breathing with making things change.

Just like blowing on a pinwheel or blowing bubbles will make them move or float away, the same thing will happen with their bad emotions on the inside.

7. Offer some positive incentives

There will probably be days when it will be difficult to help your child to practice mindful breathing, so sometimes offering a positive reward like their favorite piece of fruit or extra playtime before bed will do the trick!

Avoid doing this too often, however, because you don’t want to create the habit of substituting the outer reward for the inner reward of having them feel better. That’s the true prize.

8. Have your kids measure their feelings before and after breathing

Just like we do with Tapping, you can have your kids measure their feelings before and after the breathing exercise. If they are feeling sad, ask them on a scale of 1-10 how sad they feel.

Or if they don’t know numbers yet, have them measure with their hands. Holding their arms out wide will be really sad, while bringing their hands close together means less sad. And, of course, make sure to have them measure their happy feelings too! 🙂

9. Give lots of encouragement

Everyone thrives on encouragement, especially children! Let them know they’re doing great, even if it takes some time to get into the habit of mindful breathing. Every step is a positive one, and every stumble is a learning experience. This mindset alone is the basis for many self-help books and a highly recognized success principle.

10. Pick up a copy of my book, My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

Books are a wonderful way to teach children how to do lots of things, and I just love writing children’s books. My newest one, called “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing” was created just for this purpose.

With co-author Alison Taylor and beautifully illustrated by Michelle Polizzi, this picture book will help your child find a sense of calm through the magic of mindful breathing.

 

I hope this list is helpful to you! Pick up a copy of my book here and practice the tips above to begin teaching the wonderful skill of mindful breathing with you children!

If you’d like a downloadable infographic of the 10 tips above, you can find that here, designed for us courtesy of Venngage. 🙂

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Here are some other children’s resources that you can also explore:

Bring Tapping to Your School
Tapping for Kids Video – YouTube
The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers
Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story
The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

Tapping for Parents, Children, and Teenagers

With the release of my newest book, My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing, I realized just how large our library of Tapping resources for parents, children, and teens has grown over the years.

While we have no intentions of stopping here, I thought it would be great to start compiling a resource list in one place so that you can easily find what you’re looking for when it comes to Tapping with youngsters. 🙂

So here you go! We’ll continue adding to this list as new content becomes available.

.


Books

My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story

Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story

The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls

The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls

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Websites

The Tapping Solution Foundation

The Tapping Solution Foundation

Tapping for Teachers Facebook Group

Tapping for Teachers Facebook Group

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Multimedia

Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

Tapping for Kids Video (Facebook)

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Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

Tapping for Kids Video (Facebook)

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Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

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Resources

Tapping in Schools Quickstart Guide

Tapping in Schools Quickstart Guide

How to Bring Tapping to Your School

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Have any of these resources been helpful to you? I’d love to hear your comments!

How to Be Mindful of Young Minds

You can teach children how to breathe mindfully to let go of bad feelings and encourage happy ones!

When we get a bruise or a scratch on our bodies, we are typically very certain that it will heal with time, because that’s what the body is designed to do. And because we can actually see it happen, we become very familiar with the healing process.

For young children, we even go out of our way to ensure that everything will be alright after a tumble or a scrape. We offer added attention, we pour on the encouragement, we kiss the boo-boo, and we bandage up the injury with care.

But what about the emotional stings and wounds that we can’t see? Don’t they deserve as much attention as physical ones?

What I’ve experienced time and again when Tapping with clients (and what any academically trained and board-certified psychologist or therapist can confirm) is that a great majority of our adult problems are rooted in unresolved emotional events from our childhoods.

That’s because the child’s mind is very much influenced by their immediate environment and can’t always correctly process the events that take place. Something simple like an embarrassing moment at school can be misinterpreted as “dangerous”.

Feelings of anger, stress, sadness, fear, or loneliness can remain with the child for long periods of time if not properly released.

Whether they are big or small, we all have emotional wounds. But what if we were able to teach our kids how to properly take care of them and heal them when they happened, so that they wouldn’t be carried into their adult lives?

Healing the emotional wounds of our children

The good news is that there ARE tools we can teach our children, and they need nothing more than what our bodies are already equipped with.

One of these tools is Tapping, of course. And we are building quite a library of resources to help kids learn how to tap. You can find a few of those at the bottom of this post.

Another tool that every single living human on the planet has is our breath.

Yes, that’s right, simply breathing in a certain way can help to reduce and even eliminate many of the negative emotions kids can experience.

Mindful breathing has been practiced for thousands of years, and is a core component of most meditation practices.

It’s also the focus of my newest children’s book, “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing”.

With co-author Alison Taylor and beautifully illustrated by Michelle Polizzi, this picture book will help children to find a sense of calm through the magic of breathing.

Whether read and practiced during story time, or even as a bed-time story to help your kids relax for a more peaceful sleep, this book is a wonderful tool to have on hand.

In a fun and interactive way, “My Magic Breath” will teach youngsters how to use their breathing to make themselves feel better. And the more we can help kids release their negative emotions and stress, the better off they’ll be as they grow into adults!

Until next time,

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Here are some other children’s resources that you can also explore:

Bring Tapping to Your School
Tapping for Kids Video – YouTube
The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers
Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story
The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Tapping Solution Foundation Partners with GRACES to Bring Tapping to Children in Guatemala

The Tapping Solution Foundation recently visited Antigua (the ancient capital of Guatemala, now a bustling colonial city) to teach and promote the use of EFT Tapping in the classroom. We visited the “Escuela Integrada de Niños Trabajadores”, a private school dedicated to serving the children of several communities around Antigua. These are children who live in extreme poverty and who, were it not for the efforts of the school, would probably be out working at a very tender age.

The school had learned about EFT Tapping through the outreach efforts of the Tapping Solution. They realized the value of implementing this technique for school children, and reached out for help in implementing a program locally. Dr. Maria Laura Ortner, Director of Global Outreach for the Tapping Solution Foundation, replied and, over the course of several months, met over Skype with both their school psychologist and their school counselor, teaching them and guiding them on how to best use tapping with the children. Delighted with the initial results, we eventually travelled to Antigua and spent three days teaching the tapping techniques to the schoolchildren, as well as to their teachers, school staff and parents.

We visited each of the classrooms, grades K through 9, for a full period, adapting the presentations to each age level. The results were amazing! The children were avid learners, and were particularly entertained by the animal associations to the tapping points described in Alex Ortner’s book “Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs.”

Most of these young boys and girls have been severely traumatized in their infancy, through poverty, malnutrition, and in general very poor living conditions. The tapping techniques work extremely well to relieve them of these emotional burdens, and to give them a sense of self-worth. One of the teachers at the school, Sandra Flores, told us about Daniel, a 16-year-old boy who goes to a night school at which she also teaches. It is a school for adolescents and adults to complete their primary education. She told us that Daniel has nervous ticks, and often gets anxious and stressed; she did some Tapping with him, and the next day Daniel came to her and wanted to learn more, because he said it had really helped him. And they even did it in Kaquikel, one of the local Mayan languages!

We also gathered with all the teachers at the Escuela Integrada, to discuss the benefits of EFT, some of its subtleties, how best to use it with children, etc., and gave a full presentation to a large group of parents, perhaps 50 or 60, many of whom came from quite far to attend. The receptiveness at the Escuela Integrada was amazing! The children loved it, and the teachers and staff, seeing the immediate positive effects it had, bought into the concept wholeheartedly.

At the conclusion of our stay, the school also organized a workshop where we were able to introduce the technique to other community members from Antigua and the surrounding area, including psychologists, teachers, and social workers, among others. 95 people attended, with most of them paying an entrance fee that went to the school as part of their fundraising. It was a roaring success!

The Escuela Integrada is supported 100% by GRACES, a US-based charitable organization. The country of Guatemala has a very limited public school system, so these children, whose families for the most part live in abject poverty, would otherwise probably remain uneducated. In addition to the schooling, they provide the children with two nutritious meals per day, counseling to the parents, water filters for their homes, as the water quality in the area is very poor, and food and domestic supplies to many of the families. They even organize volunteer teams who come from the USA to help with building homes, and other necessities. The work they do is quite amazing, and is without a doubt making a huge impact in the lives of these people. Visit their website at WeAreGraces.org.

For more information on The Tapping Solution Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, and on how you too can implement Tapping in your schools, visit their website at TappingSolutionFoundation.org or contact us at info@tappingsolutionfoundation.org.


Dr. Ortner is teaching EFT Tapping to a kindergarten class in the Escuela de Niños Trabajadores in Antigua, Guatemala. The kids had fun and loved it!


Approximately 100 people attended this Tapping event in Antigua, Guatemala. Dr. Ortner held a Tapping Workshop for teachers, therapists, psychologists, social workers, police officers and government officials.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner