Childhood should be happy & carefree
Grow up, we say.
Stop crying, we plead.
Be quiet, we scream.
Do as you're told, we demand.
You're too young for that, we say.
Think for yourself, we plead.
Talk to me, we scream.
Make your own choices, we demand.
I'm not good enough, I say.
Do better today, I plead.
I'm useless, I cry.
I can't do it, I lie.
chANGE THE SCRIPT
Be the mother who defies history. Change the 'script' in your child's mind. Our children know we love them but does your child feel liked by you? It is hard to feel liked if the 'hero' in your life is always telling you to how to sit, stand, eat, dress, walk or talk. On top of that, school is a breeding ground for stress, be it social or educational. In any one day your child can face criticism, rejection, shame, loneliness, embarrassment and more. Make your home the safe place they need. Be the mother that can't help but highlight how great they are. Show them where they are being great. Show them you like their personality. Shine the torch of greatness on them relentlessly and powerfully. Be the counter-voice in their head.
Instead of advice or instructions, try using recognition's:
I learned something from you today...
I thought about you today when you were at school.
I enjoy listening to your stories.
Your mistakes are fine with me, I hope mine are with you too.
I love being your parent.
I love watching you play.
I know you can do it. I've seen you achieve before. I believe in you.
You make me laugh.
Our children are facing an epidemic of anxiety, depression, addiction and behavioural disorders. Anxiety is one of the most common causes of distress in children and young people. As many as one in five primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing. This equates to around six children in the average school class.
For a child iving with anxiety, it feels like they are being followed by a voice in their head. It is the 'script' they listen to from the moment they wake up til they finally fall asleep at night. It knows all their insecurities. It reminds them of all their weaknesses. It is the loudest voice in their head.
Some children may even describe their anxiety as "The voices in my head that tell me to do things." This is normal. Do not be alarmed.
Anxiety is often the reason our children look for coping mechanisms. It is the underlying reason for depression and many addictions.
Tapping with kids is simple and effective. It is also enjoyable and does not require the child to undergo any kind of stress during the sessions. Tapping can be used on any age child.
It is NOT talk-therapy, your child does NOT need to open up and tell me their life story. In fact, many times, I work 'blind' with children out of necessity. For example, a 6 year-old boy cannot know the source of his anxiety (most adults don't even know) but I can pinpoint it's origin in the body and release the underlying disturbance in his energy field.
Let me help your child become free of these anxious demands.
"When your child comes home from school and wants to tell you something that happened to them at school, we are biologically driven to protect them. We do this by trying to find a solution for them. We want to make their world better. We advise them, tell them what to do, what to say. All they hear is that they are not capable of doing this alone. It is our very attempt at solving their issue that hinders their ability to make intelligent decisions. Instead of following the urge to advise, step back instead. Observe, listen and don't pass judgement. Don't judge what happened or their response to it. Create a safe space for them to work it out on their own. What greater gift can we give our child then BELIEVING in their own ability to make the right decision."
What does it look like?
Symptoms of anxiety in children are not always obvious. Parents often don't realise their children are displaying signs of anxiety. If your child suffers with any of the following, they may be suffering with anxiety:
Repetitive behaviours eg. sucking or chewing clothes
Social phobia eg. not wanting to go to parties
Selective Mutism eg. an inablity to speak at certain times and/or places
Specific Phobias eg. fear of the dark, fear of being alone in a room
Uncontrollable angry outbursts
Fear of new foods
Excessive nail biting
Incessant criticisms of the self - either out loud or in their mind
Seperation Anxiety - occurs in younger children under the age of 12
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - this can be mental or physical (please see box to the right for more info)
Sudden inability to sleep
Constant moving, fidgeting etc
Kids with Anxiety
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is becoming more and more common in children under the age of 12. OCD can occur ONLY in the mind and therefore can go undetected by parents.
All people experience 'intrustive thoughts' during their lifetimes. We may look over the edge of a tall building and think to ourselves: Should I jump? Or we may be so angry about something that we want to hurt someone. This is normal. It is simply an 'intrusive thought', it comes and it goes. However sufferers of anxiety may grab onto the disturbing thought and fixate on it. This often makes them feel 'bad on the inside'. The intrusive thoughts are repetitive and relentless. Examples of obssesive thoughts can be a fear of death, illness, causing harm to others, voices telling them to do something, undesirable sexual thoughts etc.
These are acts or rituals carried out by the sufferer. Eg. Touching things or people a certain number of times, counting things, washing hands, repeating tasks or actions etc. These rituals become the response to the fear in their mind. The ritual keeps them safe. Sufferers of this disorder feel less anxious once they have carried out a compulsion. However, it is not long before the 'intrusive thought' occurs again and the sufferer has to carry out the ritual again.
"I have to touch someone at least three times, if I don't do this, I know something bad is going to happen. But I can't let the person know which causes me more yucky feelings. And I can't think about anything else until I have done it."
- Confessions of a 8-year old OCD sufferer.
a SKILL FOR LIFE
Once your child has had a few sessions of Tapping, they will be able to tap on themselves whenever they need to. Tapping is simple and easy to use. My younger clients quite happily tap by themselves, as and when, they feel the need to. It is a skill they will have for life. They can use this skill for any future event in their life. If they go away to camp and they feel nervous at night, if they are stressed about an upcoming exam or are afraid to go the dentist - they will have acquired lifelong skill.
And they will feel empowered when their friends or siblings need help to. Many of my young clients excitedly tell me that they 'tapped' with their friend at school who was scared or nervous.