Parents, Kids, & Teenagers

Tapping for Child Anxiety: A Personal Story

Written by: Alex Ortner

“What if I didn’t know about EFT?”

Have you ever asked yourself that question when suddenly faced with a physical or emotional crisis where you had to use Tapping?

I sure have, and so did a woman named Danielle when she ran into her 12-year-old son’s room to find him in the middle of a full-blown panic attack.

Pretty scary!

How did Tapping help? Here is Danielle’s story in her own words…

Danielle’s Story

How does one begin to articulate how challenging 2020 has been?

We have seen our very way of life turned upside down due to the arrival of a novel virus, and families all over the world are struggling to find a “new normal” in the face of massive societal changes.

We are all looking for safe and effective ways to manage the heightened stress related to these turbulent times – which brings me to how Tapping has recently helped my family.

In my home, I have a little boy who had already experienced some occasional anxious moments related to school.

We have used Tapping off and on since he was in 2nd grade with great results. However, we have found that we’ve needed to use it much more frequently for sleep disruption when he started 6th grade this year.

We also noticed the disturbances in his sleep seemed to increase throughout the weeks leading up to the stay-at-home orders, as he shared with us that his daily homeroom news segments at school were reporting constant updates about the virus.

This global event has really been challenging for our children, to say the least. Thankfully, within our family, we have had the benefit of being able to use and apply Emotional Freedom Techniques.

Tapping Before Bedtime

EFT has been an excellent tool to help our son calm down when his mind races, often in association with his worries for the world or what is happening with his friends and loved ones. This is especially true at night just as he would be trying to rest.

With just a few rounds of tapping at bedtime, I have seen my son go from being highly restless and anxious to totally relaxed and ready for sleep.

Sometimes we talk about how intense his level of discomfort is, but usually, we keep it simple and begin with an opening statement of, “Even though I am feeling all this anxiety that is keeping me from sleep, I deeply love and accept myself,” or maybe, “Even though I am having all these racing thoughts and worries, I honor how I feel and I deeply love and accept myself.”

We address both the negative feelings while we go through the acupressure points as well as how nice it feels to trust that we are “safe”, knowing that our bodies want to sleep and that we can do it.

The phrase “I am safe no matter what” anchors us in many of our finishing statements, and seems to trigger some big yawns too.

One night, my son struggled to the point that he came out into the family room and asked that I tap with him, as he felt like he could not get to sleep, saying he “worried that he would ‘never’ get back to sleep,” which made him very tearful.

We tapped on that fear and sleeplessness and by the third round, the total shift in his countenance and body language showed he could relax into sleep again – and he did.

Interestingly enough, I had seen a message on The Tapping Solution Facebook page, encouraging people to share about how EFT helped them during this stressful time. And so I had decided to write about how Tapping helped both my mother and my son’s sleeping issues.

And then my son had his first, full-on anxiety attack.

I received a notice from his school that he missed a few assignments in the new online format and so I told my son to go into his account and look around. Because it was a new marking period, the missing homework took his grades into failing status, and he immediately panicked.

I heard him in his room and it sounded like hyperventilating and definitely crying. I ran in and asked him what was wrong. He was holding his face and sobbing, but then he finally caught his breath and verbalized that he “failed” his grade, just before busting out into another round of sobs.

Of course, I knew this could not be true and instructed him to breathe as deeply and slowly as he could manage.

I told him we were going to breathe and tap together until he could find his calm, and then we would go back into the system and figure out what we needed to do to fix this problem.

Seeing my son so distraught created a fair amount of panic too and I wondered how successful we would be in regaining his balance. I trusted EFT, but I had never had to use it for an outright panic attack before.

In my head, I could see all the case histories and the science I had studied racing by, proving how Tapping calms the amygdala, lowers stress hormones, and engages the parasympathetic nervous system towards anxiety resolution…

We had nothing to lose, and so we tapped…

Within a matter of 5-10 minutes of tapping, my terrified, anxious child was breathing steadily with a total return to his senses.

I could see he was cognitively present and while shaken, he had his composure back and felt in control again.

He picked up his Chromebook, began looking for the assignment instructions, and he completed the missing work – just as though he had never gone through that moment of crisis.

As I watched him come out the other side of this anxiety attack, smiling and seemingly unaffected, I also could not help but wonder…

What if I didn’t know about EFT? What would I have done for my son??

Obviously, I would have held him and tried to comfort him, and I do have an educational background in psychology with a few other tools at my disposal, but my son was in the middle of a very intense anxiety episode.

Outside of taking him to an emergency walk-in clinic, which I really would not have wanted to do concerning coronavirus exposure risks right now, I would not have had many other options.

Thankfully though, I DID have Tapping, and I was able to use it to help my son right on the spot. I am so grateful for the Ortners who have brought EFT to the public in such a generous and accessible way.

Thank you to the entire Tapping Solution team, as well as all the amazing doctors, educators, and facilitators who have been diligently sharing the science behind Tapping, helping to educate the public about this safe and effective modality.

EFT Tapping is a family-friendly tool that anyone can learn how to use, and I hope that more families will not only hear about it but also experience the benefits of this amazing modality as they find their way through these truly challenging times.


Danielle Augustine

This is an AMAZING story that not only shows how quickly EFT Tapping can work but also in demonstrating its effectiveness as an emergency tool that everyone can have on hand.

We really appreciate Danielle for sharing her personal story and we hope it inspires you to explore how you can use Tapping with your kids or with children you work with!

For additional resources, I encourage you the check out our blog post on Tapping for Parents, Teachers, Children, and Teenagers.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Alex Ortner

Have you taught Tapping to your kids or children you work with? Have you seen a difference? Comment below!

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  1. Yolanda Saez Castello says:

    I have taught tapping to children for years in schools and the results are amazing. I constantly hear feedback if how they use it to get to sleep, or to calm themselves down when they know they are upset and remember their magic points, and that’s not even when I am around! When I am in school I walk around the playground and they come to “the tapping lady” if they are not happy, tap for a few minutes mirroring me (never touch them very safeguarding friendly), then run back to play, it’s brilliant. (Obviously I am referring to my work before lockdown started and schools closed). As a mother, it always occurs to me that’s somebody’s child whose difficult moment is over, and it’s an honour for me to facilitate the process.

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