Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tapping For Kids (EFT for Kids)

Image by Tania Franco

It is important to give kids options that can help them reduce stress and manage uncomfortable emotions. I meet many adults who have limited self care resources and because of this they now have a hard time managing emotions and stress. By teaching children techniques to address uncomfortable feelings early on we are giving them valuable tools they will be able to use into adulthood.

Tapping is a great way to teach children how to practice self care. In a nut shell, when we have an uncomfortable emotion it is believed in ancient philosophies that our life energy (chi) is disrupted, by tapping on acupressure points while thinking of the event/feeling that caused it, we allow chi to return to it's full flow.

The WHO, World Health Organization, has recommended acupuncture for over 60 different ailments. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture except that you apply pressure or tap with your fingertips on the energy points on your body instead of placing tiny needles in them.

I have made diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, meditation and tapping part of our family life.I practice tapping differently with my 5 year old then I would with adults but it is still very effective in reducing stress and easing strong emotions.

The following is how I practice tapping with my son:

I gently tap with my middle and index finger, approximately 5 taps on the following points (they are outlined in the image above with red hearts).
  • Karate chop (side of hand by the pinky finger)
  •  Inside corner of eyebrow, near the nose
  • Outer edge of eyebrow
  • Cheekbone
  • Under nose
  • Chin
  • Collarbone
  • Under arm
  • Ribs
  • Tap 5 fingertips of one or both hands
  • Karate chop
I will tap on my son or he will tap on himself as I guide him before going to bed, while cuddling and watching TV, after he's had a melt down, lately right before a melt down which helps relax him.

Giving children different ways to manage their emotions sets them up to be empowered beings now but also helps develop happier adults.

Tania Franco

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tapping: Acupressure For Emotional Empowerment

Image by Tania Franco
Tapping combines acupressure, NLP, and cognitive behavioral techniques. It is beneficial in making uncomfortable emotions manageable, releasing unhealthy thoughts, creating greater relaxation and reducing physical pain.

First, name the emotion or sensation you are feeling and give it a number from 1-10 (10=the most and 1=the least).

Tap the karate chop point and repeat 3 times: “Even though I have this  (state the emotion/sensation), I am learning to love and accept myself completely.”

Tap each point gently 7 times on each acupressure point while focusing on the emotion or sensation. Make sure you are taking deep breaths throughout the exercise.

Tapping sequence:

Inside corner of eyebrow
Outer edge of eyebrow
Under eye
Under nose
Collarbone (sore spot)
Under arm
Inside nail of thumb
Inside nail of index finger
Inside nail of middle finger
Inside nail of little finger

Do 9 Gamut sequence (see below)

Repeat taping sequence (see above)

Take a deep breath.

Reassess the number (0-10) of the emotion/sensation.

If the number has dropped but the emotion/sensation is still noticeable, repeat the tapping sequence.  At each point say out loud,  “Remaining ___________ (state the emotion/sensation).”

9 Gamut Sequence
Tap the gamut spot throughout this sequence (on both sides of your temple/ fleshy part of hand between little and ring finger)

Look straight ahead

Close eyes

Open eyes and look down diagonally to the right

Look down diagonally to the left

Roll eyes clockwise

Roll eyes counterclockwise

Start tapping on both sides of temple again/ fleshy part of your hand between little and ring finger

Hum a tune out loud

Count to 7 out loud

Hum a tune out loud

Take a deep breath

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Creative Parenting: Recycled Material Jet Pack

Image by Tania Franco

When I was in my early 20's I dreamed of the day I would become a mother and how much art and play would be at the center of my parenting style. Now with a 6 year old I can proudly say that we have made arts and crafts a part of our daily life.

I realize how much all of our activities have helped shape his view of the world. He will see something he likes and automatically knows that we can find a way to make it. No matter what.

The other day we were at a play date with friends and he saw this amazing jet pack made with recycled materials. As soon as we got home I looked it up on Pinterest and added it to my After School board.

We used the following materials we had at hand:

2 Empty sparkling water bottles
Red Tissue Paper (cut it into 10 long strips)
A piece of cardboard from a cereal box
Aluminum Foil
Hot glue gun
Scotch Tape

1.We covered the water bottles and the cardboard with aluminum foil. Put a a little bit of scotch tape to hold it together.

2. We looked for something to use as a strap. I suggested an old T-shirt but my son wasn't having it. Every shirt possible was called his "favorite". I tried to explain that 10 shirts can't all be his favorite but I lost that battle so I looked for a pair of tights that could do the trick. (Yes, I once bought bright Pepto Bismol tights. My husband, bless him, didn't let me leave the house with them on, so they were available for the craft.) I cut 2 legs for the shoulder straps and a third piece to hold the water bottles to the cardboard.

3. I hot glued the water bottles to the cardboard.

4. Hot glued and later stapled the straps (pink tights) to the cardboard.

5. Hot glued and stapled the strap that hugged the water bottles to the cardboard.

6. Cut the tissue paper into 10 strips, put 5 of  them together and stapled them, then stapled the other 5..

7. Hot glued the tissue paper onto each the water bottles.

Voila'! He ran around the house all day playing with it.

Finding creative ways to come together as a family can be truly rewarding for all and can be empowering for children.

Tania Franco