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My post for today really doesn’t have anything to do with music, but it certainly involves movement and the importance of intentional touch exercises for young children…..

I came across this article while browsing through one of my favorite toddler activity sites, http://www.clever-toddler-activities.com/, and I just had to share it!  In all my research (and believe me…I’m an information junkie!), I had never heard of “EFT” (Emotional Freedom Technique) before.  I’m not sure I’m a true believer yet, but if this super-simple ritual actually helps even a little bit, it could have amazing implications for the emotional health and stability of your entire family!                                                                       I, for one, am eager to read more on this subject…..anything that helps de-escalate temper tantrums, and brings a few moments of zen into our house, has my seal of approval!

**sigh**   If only I could get my 2-year-old to stand still for a few seconds, maybe I could try this out….

“These amazing easy to learn (and do) emotional freedom techniques help your child to cope with the little bumps in life – both physical and emotional!

What I’m about to tell you is so amazing the parent herself didn’t believe it…..               I was in the park the other day and watched the heavy swing gate smash a toddler‘s middle finger. Of course he cried. His mother sat down beside me and, looking at the finger said “Oh that’s bad! That nail is coming off.” It did indeed look gruesome. There was broken skin on both sides of the finger.

A toddler girl crying

I told her “I know a technique that helps calm children. Would that help?” She nodded. I continued “I’ll say a poem and it will give instructions about tapping on different parts of the head and body. If you tap on those parts as I say it, it may help him. Start tapping on the side of his hand underneath his little finger – his karate chop point.”
And so I told the poem whilst the mum tapped – or in other words administered emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to her chid.

The Happy Tapping Poem!

By Don White
Happy Tapping is lots of fun
You can do it on your own – or with anyone!
Tap tap tap on the top of your head,
Tap tap tap do just what I said!
Tap on your eyebrow just near your nose.
Then the side of your eye where the hard bone grows.
Now on the bone – under your eye,
You’ll feel really good – by and by,
Now under your nose – but over your lips.
Tap tap tap – with your fingertips!
Now under your lip – but over your chin,
Just on the bit where your chin goes in.
Now under your collarbone – but over your chest,
Under the bump of the bone is best!
The last on the list is under your arm,
To make sure you get it right – slap with your palm!

If you still don’t feel good – don’t go to bed,
Start tapping again on the top of your head!

All Smiles!  Even before the poem finished he looked at me with a happy grin! No more tears – even when the mum decided to wash the finger in a bucket of water. She dried it with a tissue (not gently), he dipped it in the water again and the dipping and drying was repeated three times. All the while he was smiling away, thinking it was great fun. His finger still looked gruesome but he didn’t appear to feel it even when his mum put pressure on it to dry it!

I said, “Look he’s smiling!” and she replied “It must have distracted him.”  But ……. that’s not actually how emotional freedom techniques works.

What Had Happened? The poem gives instructions to tap on the meridian end points which are acupuncture points discovered in ancient China. When we feel pain the energy pathways in our body gets stuck. The tapping creates a vibration along the meridians and so the energy that was blocked gets freed.

EFT-tapping points

Try It!   You don’t really need to know how emotional freedom techniques works for it to work. Why don’t you try it next time your toddler has a bump?

Or better still use it as an action rhyme so it’s already familiar when you need it for upsets. It’s fantastic to add to your travel activities for kids ‘bag of tricks’ because it helps to stop that ‘Are we nearly there yet?” jitters.  You could paste the poem on to a word document and print it out to have at hand when you need it. But you’ll soon find you learn it, with its jaunty rhythm. 🙂

Emotions You could also say the poem when your toddler gets emotionally upset. After validating her feelings “I know you want to go outside but the baby is sleeping and he hasn’t had much sleep today so we’ll go out when he’s woken up.” You can start chanting the rhyme whilst tapping on yourself. After a few repetitions she will be able to copy some of the points.

Bedtime     I’m sure you’ve noticed the last two lines: “If you still don’t feel good – don’t go to bed, Start tapping again on the top of your head!”

The reason is: tapping just before bed is a good habit to get into whatever the age of the child. The tapping will help to dislodge the energies that have got stuck during the day and help your toddler to sleep.  It is especially useful if your child has difficulty sleeping. Try it – you’ll be amazed!

It’s Perfect for Adults Too!   When you see how well this works for your little one you’ll be using it on yourself I’m sure.  It’s perfect for getting over those emotional humps that come about when our toddler ‘pushes our emotional buttons’ and we might do things we regret. I know it’s awful, and we’ve all had this to some extent or another, so I urge you to check out this helpful page and explore how emotional freedom techniques can give you emotional freedom so you can be the parent you really want to be, and help you cope with that toddler behavior.  I sure wish I’d known about it when my children were little. 🙂

Disclaimer;  While EFT has produced remarkable results, it must be still considered an experimental technology. By using EFT as suggested in this site you agree to take complete responsibility for your emotional and physical well-being. Clever-Toddler-Activities.com cannot be held liable for how you choose to use these methods. If you feel in any way reluctant to use these methods for yourself or others, please refrain. Instead, consult a qualified professional. ”                                                                                 -http://www.clever-toddler-activities.com/emotional-freedom-techniques-1.html